WorldWideScience

Sample records for subarctic tundra sites

  1. Anurans in a Subarctic Tundra Landscape Near Cape Churchill, Manitoba

    Reiter, M.E.; Boal, C.W.; Andersen, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    Distribution, abundance, and habitat relationships of anurans inhabiting subarctic regions are poorly understood, and anuran monitoring protocols developed for temperate regions may not be applicable across large roadless areas of northern landscapes. In addition, arctic and subarctic regions of North America are predicted to experience changes in climate and, in some areas, are experiencing habitat alteration due to high rates of herbivory by breeding and migrating waterfowl. To better understand subarctic anuran abundance, distribution, and habitat associations, we conducted anuran calling surveys in the Cape Churchill region of Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, in 2004 and 2005. We conducted surveys along ~l-km transects distributed across three landscape types (coastal tundra, interior sedge meadow-tundra, and boreal forest-tundra interface) to estimate densities and probabilities of detection of Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) and Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus). We detected a Wood Frog or Boreal Chorus Frog on 22 (87%) of 26 transects surveyed, but probability of detection varied between years and species and among landscape types. Estimated densities of both species increased from the coastal zone inland toward the boreal forest edge. Our results suggest anurans occur across all three landscape types in our study area, but that species-specific spatial patterns exist in their abundances. Considerations for both spatial and temporal variation in abundance and detection probability need to be incorporated into surveys and monitoring programs for subarctic anurans.

  2. Interannual Variability of Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Subarctic European Russian Tundra

    Marushchak, M. E.; Voigt, C.; Gil, J.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Trubnikova, T.; Virtanen, T.; Kaverin, D.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Southern tundra landscapes are particularly vulnerable to climate warming, permafrost thaw and associated landscape rearrangement due to near-zero permafrost temperatures. The large soil C and N stocks of subarctic tundra may create a positive feedback for warming if released to the atmosphere at increased rates. Subarctic tundra in European Russia is a mosaic of land cover types, which all play different roles in the regional greenhouse gas budget. Peat plateaus - massive upheaved permafrost peatlands - are large storehouses of soil carbon and nitrogen, but include also bare peat surfaces that act as hot-spots for both carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions. Tundra wetlands are important for the regional greenhouse gas balance since they show high rates of methane emissions and carbon uptake. The most dominant land-form is upland tundra vegetated by shrubs, lichens and mosses, which displays a close-to-neutral balance with respect to all three greenhouse gases. The study site Seida (67°03'N, 62°56'E), located in the discontinuous permafrost zone of Northeast European Russia, incorporates all these land forms and has been an object for greenhouse gas investigations since 2007. Here, we summarize the growing season fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide measured by chamber techniques over the study years. We analyzed the flux time-series together with the local environmental data in order to understand the drivers of interannual variability. Detailed soil profile measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations, soil moisture and temperature provide insights into soil processes underlying the net emissions to the atmosphere. The multiannual time-series allows us to assess the importance of the different greenhouse gases and landforms to the overall climate forcing of the study region.

  3. Seasonal changes in the radiation balance of subarctic forest and tundra

    Lafleur, P.M.; Renzetti, A.V.; Bello, R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the seasonal behavior of the components of the radiation budget of subarctic tundra and open forest near Churchill, Manitoba. Data were collected between late February and August 1990. The presence of the winter snowpack is the most important factor which affects the difference in radiation balances of tundra and forest. Overall, net radiation was about four to five times larger over the forest when snow covered the ground. Albedo differences were primarily responsible for this difference in net radiation; however, somewhat smaller net longwave losses were experienced at the tundra site. The step decrease in albedo from winter to summer (i.e. snow-covered to snow-free conditions) was significant at both sites. The forest albedo decreased by about three-fold while the tundra experienced a seven-fold decrease. Net radiation at both sites increased in direct response to the albedo change. Transmissivity of the atmosphere near Churchill also appeared to change at about the same time as the loss of the snow cover and may be related to changing air masses which bring about the final snow melt

  4. Energy partitioning at treeline forest and tundra sites and its sensitivity to climate change

    Lafleur, P.M. [Trent Univ., Peterborough, ON (Canada); Rouse, W.R. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    A study was conducted to examine the inter-annual variability in energy fluxes of treeline tundra and forest and to investigate the sensitivity of forest and tundra energy balances to climatic changes. A five year record of energy balance data from contiguous wetland tundra and subarctic forest sites near Churchill, Manitoba was analyzed. The data included snow free periods only. Wind direction was used as an analogue for changing climatic conditions where onshore winds are cooler and moister than offshore winds. Sensible and latent heat fluxes at both sites varied significantly between onshore and offshore wind regimes. The differences between onshore and offshore fluxes at the tundra site were larger than for the forest. The tundra-to-forest Bowen ratios decreased with increasing vapour pressure deficit and increasing air temperature. Results suggest that energy partitioning in the wetland tundra is more sensitive to climate change than in the treeline forests. 22 refs., 1 tab., 6 figs.

  5. Bacterial community structure and soil properties of a subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska.

    Kim, Hye Min; Jung, Ji Young; Yergeau, Etienne; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Hinzman, Larry; Nam, Sungjin; Hong, Soon Gyu; Kim, Ok-Sun; Chun, Jongsik; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2014-08-01

    The subarctic region is highly responsive and vulnerable to climate change. Understanding the structure of subarctic soil microbial communities is essential for predicting the response of the subarctic soil environment to climate change. To determine the composition of the bacterial community and its relationship with soil properties, we investigated the bacterial community structure and properties of surface soil from the moist acidic tussock tundra in Council, Alaska. We collected 70 soil samples with 25-m intervals between sampling points from 0-10 cm to 10-20 cm depths. The bacterial community was analyzed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, and the following soil properties were analyzed: soil moisture content (MC), pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), and inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3-). The community compositions of the two different depths showed that Alphaproteobacteria decreased with soil depth. Among the soil properties measured, soil pH was the most significant factor correlating with bacterial community in both upper and lower-layer soils. Bacterial community similarity based on jackknifed unweighted unifrac distance showed greater similarity across horizontal layers than through the vertical depth. This study showed that soil depth and pH were the most important soil properties determining bacterial community structure of the subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  6. Plant and microbial uptake and allocation of organic and inorganic nitrogen related to plant growth forms and soil conditions at two subarctic tundra sites in Sweden

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Michelsen, Anders

    2008-01-01

    organic matter. At both sites the deciduous dwarf shrub Betula nana and the evergreen Empetrum hermaphroditum absorbed added 15N at rates in the order: NH4 + . NO3 2 . glycine, in contrast to the graminoid Carex species which took up added 15N at rates in the orderNO3 2 . NH4 + . glycine. Carex...

  7. Warming of subarctic tundra increases emissions of all three important greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

    Voigt, Carolina; Lamprecht, Richard E; Marushchak, Maija E; Lind, Saara E; Novakovskiy, Alexander; Aurela, Mika; Martikainen, Pertti J; Biasi, Christina

    2017-08-01

    Rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic might cause a greater release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere. To study the effect of warming on GHG dynamics, we deployed open-top chambers in a subarctic tundra site in Northeast European Russia. We determined carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes as well as the concentration of those gases, inorganic nitrogen (N) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) along the soil profile. Studied tundra surfaces ranged from mineral to organic soils and from vegetated to unvegetated areas. As a result of air warming, the seasonal GHG budget of the vegetated tundra surfaces shifted from a GHG sink of -300 to -198 g CO 2 -eq m -2 to a source of 105 to 144 g CO 2 -eq m -2 . At bare peat surfaces, we observed increased release of all three GHGs. While the positive warming response was dominated by CO 2 , we provide here the first in situ evidence of increasing N 2 O emissions from tundra soils with warming. Warming promoted N 2 O release not only from bare peat, previously identified as a strong N 2 O source, but also from the abundant, vegetated peat surfaces that do not emit N 2 O under present climate. At these surfaces, elevated temperatures had an adverse effect on plant growth, resulting in lower plant N uptake and, consequently, better N availability for soil microbes. Although the warming was limited to the soil surface and did not alter thaw depth, it increased concentrations of DOC, CO 2, and CH 4 in the soil down to the permafrost table. This can be attributed to downward DOC leaching, fueling microbial activity at depth. Taken together, our results emphasize the tight linkages between plant and soil processes, and different soil layers, which need to be taken into account when predicting the climate change feedback of the Arctic. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Doubled volatile organic compound emissions from subarctic tundra under simulated climate warming.

    Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Päivi; Rinnan, Asmund; Michelsen, Anders; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Rinnan, Riikka

    2010-07-01

    *Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from arctic ecosystems are important in view of their role in global atmospheric chemistry and unknown feedbacks to global warming. These cold ecosystems are hotspots of climate warming, which will be more severe here than averaged over the globe. We assess the effects of climatic warming on non-methane BVOC emissions from a subarctic heath. *We performed ecosystem-based chamber measurements and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses of the BVOCs collected on adsorbent over two growing seasons at a wet subarctic tundra heath hosting a long-term warming and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) litter addition experiment. *The relatively low emissions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes were doubled in response to an air temperature increment of only 1.9-2.5 degrees C, while litter addition had a minor influence. BVOC emissions were seasonal, and warming combined with litter addition triggered emissions of specific compounds. *The unexpectedly high rate of release of BVOCs measured in this conservative warming scenario is far above the estimates produced by the current models, which underlines the importance of a focus on BVOC emissions during climate change. The observed changes have implications for ecological interactions and feedback effects on climate change via impacts on aerosol formation and indirect greenhouse effects.

  9. Impacts of introduced Rangifer on ecosystem processes of maritime tundra on subarctic islands

    Ricca, Mark; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Eviner, Valerie T.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of mammalian herbivores to remote islands without predators provide a natural experiment to ask how temporal and spatial variation in herbivory intensity alter feedbacks between plant and soil processes. We investigated ecosystem effects resulting from introductions of Rangifer tarandus (hereafter “Rangifer”) to native mammalian predator- and herbivore-free islands in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. We hypothesized that the maritime tundra of these islands would experience either: (1) accelerated ecosystem processes mediated by positive feedbacks between increased graminoid production and rapid nitrogen cycling; or (2) decelerated processes mediated by herbivory that stimulated shrub domination and lowered soil fertility. We measured summer plant and soil properties across three islands representing a chronosequence of elapsed time post-Rangifer introduction (Atka: ~100 yr; Adak: ~50; Kagalaska: ~0), with distinct stages of irruptive population dynamics of Rangifer nested within each island (Atka: irruption, K-overshoot, decline, K-re-equilibration; Adak: irruption, K-overshoot; Kagalaska: initial introduction). We also measured Rangifer spatial use within islands (indexed by pellet group counts) to determine how ecosystem processes responded to spatial variation in herbivory. Vegetation community response to herbivory varied with temporal and spatial scale. When comparing temporal effects using the island chronosequence, increased time since herbivore introduction led to more graminoids and fewer dwarf-shrubs, lichens, and mosses. Slow-growingCladonia lichens that are highly preferred winter forage were decimated on both long-termRangifer-occupied islands. In addition, linear relations between more concentrated Rangifer spatial use and reductions in graminoid and forb biomass within islands added spatial heterogeneity to long-term patterns identified by the chronosequence. These results support, in part, the hypothesis that

  10. Challenges in modelling isoprene and monoterpene emission dynamics of Arctic plants: a case study from a subarctic tundra heath

    Tang, Jing; Schurgers, Guy; Valolahti, Hanna; Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Päivi; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the global average speed, and the warming-induced increases in biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emissions from Arctic plants are expected to be drastic. The current global models' estimations of minimal BVOC emissions from the Arctic are based on very few observations and have been challenged increasingly by field data. This study applied a dynamic ecosystem model, LPJ-GUESS, as a platform to investigate short-term and long-term BVOC emission responses to Arctic climate warming. Field observations in a subarctic tundra heath with long-term (13-year) warming treatments were extensively used for parameterizing and evaluating BVOC-related processes (photosynthesis, emission responses to temperature and vegetation composition). We propose an adjusted temperature (T) response curve for Arctic plants with much stronger T sensitivity than the commonly used algorithms for large-scale modelling. The simulated emission responses to 2 °C warming between the adjusted and original T response curves were evaluated against the observed warming responses (WRs) at short-term scales. Moreover, the model responses to warming by 4 and 8 °C were also investigated as a sensitivity test. The model showed reasonable agreement to the observed vegetation CO2 fluxes in the main growing season as well as day-to-day variability of isoprene and monoterpene emissions. The observed relatively high WRs were better captured by the adjusted T response curve than by the common one. During 1999-2012, the modelled annual mean isoprene and monoterpene emissions were 20 and 8 mg C m-2 yr-1, with an increase by 55 and 57 % for 2 °C summertime warming, respectively. Warming by 4 and 8 °C for the same period further elevated isoprene emission for all years, but the impacts on monoterpene emissions levelled off during the last few years. At hour-day scale, the WRs seem to be strongly impacted by canopy air T, while at the day-year scale, the WRs are a combined

  11. Collembola at three alpine subarctic sites resistant to twenty years of experimental warming

    Alatalo, J.M.; Jägerbrand, A.K.; Čuchta, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 5, December (2015), s. 18161 ISSN 2045-2322 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Collembola * alpine subarctic sites * experimental warming Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 5.228, year: 2015

  12. An application of plot-scale NDVI in predicting carbon dioxide exchange and leaf area index in heterogeneous subarctic tundra

    Dagg, J.; Lafleur, P.

    2010-07-01

    This paper reported on a study that examined the flow of carbon into and out of tundra ecosystems. It is necessary to accurately predict carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) exchange in the Tundra because of the impacts of climate change on carbon stored in permafrost. Understanding the relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and vegetation and CO{sub 2} exchange may explain how small-scale variation in vegetation community extends to remotely sensed estimates of landscape characteristics. In this study, CO{sub 2} fluxes were measured with a portable chamber in a range of Tundra vegetation communities. Biomass and leaf area were measured with destructive harvest, and NDVI was obtained using a hand-held infrared camera. There was a weak correlation between NDVI and leaf area index in some vegetation communities, but a significant correlation between NDVI and biomass, including mosses. NDVI was found to be strongly related to photosynthetic activity and net CO{sub 2} uptake in all vegetation groups. However, NDVI related to ecosystem respiration only in wet sedge. It was concluded that at plot scale, the ability of NDVI to predict ecosystem properties and CO{sub 2} exchange in heterogeneous Tundra vegetation is variable.

  13. An application of plot-scale NDVI in predicting carbon dioxide exchange and leaf area index in heterogeneous subarctic tundra

    Dagg, J.; Lafleur, P.

    2010-01-01

    This paper reported on a study that examined the flow of carbon into and out of tundra ecosystems. It is necessary to accurately predict carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) exchange in the Tundra because of the impacts of climate change on carbon stored in permafrost. Understanding the relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and vegetation and CO 2 exchange may explain how small-scale variation in vegetation community extends to remotely sensed estimates of landscape characteristics. In this study, CO 2 fluxes were measured with a portable chamber in a range of Tundra vegetation communities. Biomass and leaf area were measured with destructive harvest, and NDVI was obtained using a hand-held infrared camera. There was a weak correlation between NDVI and leaf area index in some vegetation communities, but a significant correlation between NDVI and biomass, including mosses. NDVI was found to be strongly related to photosynthetic activity and net CO 2 uptake in all vegetation groups. However, NDVI related to ecosystem respiration only in wet sedge. It was concluded that at plot scale, the ability of NDVI to predict ecosystem properties and CO 2 exchange in heterogeneous Tundra vegetation is variable.

  14. Net Primary Production and Carbon Stocks for Subarctic Mesic-Dry Tundras with Contrasting Microtopography, Altitude, and Dominant Species

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Demey, A

    2009-01-01

    Mesic-dry tundras are widespread in the Arctic but detailed assessments of net primary production (NPP) and ecosystem carbon (C) stocks are lacking. We addressed this lack of knowledge by determining the seasonal dynamics of aboveground vascular NPP, annual NPP, and whole-ecosystem C stocks in five...... mesic-dry tundras in Northern Sweden with contrasting microtopography, altitude, and dominant species. Those measurements were paralleled by the stock assessments of nitrogen (N), the limiting nutrient. The vascular production was determined by harvest or in situ growing units, whereas the nonvascular...... hermaphroditum is more productive than Cassiope tetragona vegetation. Although the large majority of the apical NPP occurred in early-mid season (85%), production of stems and evergreen leaves proceeded until about 2 weeks before senescence. Most of the vascular vegetation was belowground (80%), whereas most...

  15. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    M. Alatalo, Juha; K. Jägerbrand, Annika; Juhanson, Jaanis

    2017-01-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three...... contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from...

  16. Invertebrate communities of Arctic tundra ponds as related to proximity to drill site reserve pits

    Byron, E.; Williams, N.; Hoffman, R.; Elder, B.

    1994-01-01

    Aquatic invertebrate communities were assessed for diversity and abundance in North Slope tundra ponds of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska during the summer of 1992 as part of an evaluation of potential effects of exposure to petroleum drill site reserve pits (previously used for storing drill site wastes). The invertebrate communities of these shallow, tundra ponds provide abundant food for migratory, aquatic birds that use this area during the summer breeding season. The study was designed to compare abundance and diversity estimates of invertebrates in ponds surrounding the drill sites that differed in distance (and presumed exposure) to drill site reserve pits. The pits, themselves, were not sampled as part of this study. Invertebrate abundance and diversity estimates, assessed as standard biological criteria, were evaluated relative to water chemistry of the ponds, distance to the gravel pads or reserve pits, and pond morphometry. The results indicated the importance of pond morphometry in determining the structure of the invertebrate community. Shallow, exposed ponds tended to be dominated by different invertebrate communities than deeper, narrow ponds at the margins of frost polygons. In contrast, pond chemistry and relative exposure to drill sites were not predictive of invertebrate abundance or diversity

  17. Late Holocene climate and chemical change at high latitudes: case studies from contaminated sites in subarctic and arctic Canada

    Galloway, Jennifer M.; Cooney, Darryl; Crann, Carley; Falck, Hendrik; Howell, Dana; Jamieson, Heather; Macumber, Andrew; Nasser, Nawaf; Palmer, Michael; Patterson, R. Timothy; Parsons, Michael; Roe, Helen M.; Sanei, Hamed; Spence, Christopher; Stavinga, Drew; Swindles, Graeme T.

    2015-04-01

    Climate variability is occurring at unprecedented rates in northern regions of the Earth, yet little is known about the nature of this variability or its influence on chemical cycling in the environment, particularly in areas with a legacy of contamination from past resource development. We use a paleolimnological approach to reconstruct climate and chemical change over centuries and millennia at two sites in the mineral-rich Slave Geologic Province in Northern Canada heavily impacted by gold mining. Such an approach is necessary to define the cumulative effects of climate change on metal loading and can be used to define anthropogenic release of contaminants to support policy and regulation due to a paucity of long-term monitoring data. The Seabridge Gold Inc. Courageous Lake project is a gold exploration project 240 km north of Yellowknife in the central Northwest Territories, Arctic Canada. Mining operations took place within the claim area at the Tundra (1964-1968) and Salmita (1983-1987) mines. Giant Mine is located in the subarctic near the City of Yellowknife and mining at this site represents the longest continuous gold mining operation in Canada (1938 to 2002). Due to the refractory mineralogy of ore, gold was extracted from arsenopyrite by roasting, which resulted in release of substantial quantities of highly toxic arsenic trioxide to the environment. Arsenic (As) is also naturally elevated at these sites due its occurrence in Yellowknife Supergroup greenstone belts and surficial geologic deposits. To attempt to distinguish between geogenic and anthropogenic sources of As and characterize the role of climate change on metalloid mobility we used a freeze coring technology to capture lake sediments from the properties. Sediments were analyzed for sedimentary grain size and bulk geochemistry using ICP-MS to reconstruct climate and chemical change. Micropaleontological analyses are on-going. Interpretations of the physical, chemical, and biological archive

  18. A survey of beetles (Coleoptera from the tundra surrounding the Nunalleq archaeological site, Quinhagak, southwestern Alaska

    Véronique Forbes

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of a survey of beetles conducted in the vicinity of the archaeological site of Nunalleq, a pre-contact (16th-17th century AD indigenous forager settlement located near the modern Yup’ik village of Quinhagak, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, southwestern Alaska. Records and habitat data are reported for 74 beetle taxa collected in tundra, riparian, aquatic and anthropogenic environments from a region of Alaska that has been poorly studied by entomologists. This includes the first mainland Alaskan record for the byrrhid Simplocaria metallica (Sturm. Beyond improving our knowledge of the local beetle fauna’s diversity and ecology, this survey provides the basis for comparisons between modern and sub-fossil beetle assemblages from Nunalleq and Quinhagak.

  19. Multi-decadal changes in tundra environments and ecosystems: Synthesis of the International Polar Year-Back to the Future Project (IPY-BTF)

    Callaghan, Terry V.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Åkerman, Jonas

    2011-01-01

    , and to dramatic increases in shrub and tree density on Herschel Island, and in sub-arctic Sweden. The population of geese tripled at one site in northeast Greenland where biomass in non-grazed plots doubled. A model parameterized using results from a BTF study forecasts substantial declines in all snowbeds...... and increases in shrub tundra on Niwot Ridge, Colorado over the next century. In general, results support and provide improved capacities for validating experimental manipulation, remote sensing, and modeling studies....

  20. Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.; Blok, Daan; Wang, Peng; Karsanaev, Sergey V.; Maximov, Trofim C.; Huissteden, van Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the

  1. Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.; Blok, Daan; Wang, Guang-Peng; Karsanaev, Sergey V.; Maximov, Trofim C.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the rate

  2. Petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation under seasonal freeze-thaw soil temperature regimes in contaminated soils from a sub-Arctic site.

    Chang, Wonjae; Klemm, Sara; Beaulieu, Chantale; Hawari, Jalal; Whyte, Lyle; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2011-02-01

    Several studies have shown that biostimulation in ex situ systems such as landfarms and biopiles can facilitate remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils at sub-Arctic sites during summers when temperatures are above freezing. In this study, we examine the biodegradation of semivolatile (F2: C10-C16) and nonvolatile (F3: C16-C34) petroleum hydrocarbons and microbial respiration and population dynamics at post- and presummer temperatures ranging from -5 to 14 °C. The studies were conducted in pilot-scale tanks with soils obtained from a historically contaminated sub-Arctic site in Resolution Island (RI), Canada. In aerobic, nutrient-amended, unsaturated soils, the F2 hydrocarbons decreased by 32% during the seasonal freeze-thaw phase where soils were cooled from 2 to -5 °C at a freezing rate of -0.12 °C d(-1) and then thawed from -5 to 4 °C at a thawing rate of +0.16 °C d(-1). In the unamended (control) tank, the F2 fraction only decreased by 14% during the same period. Biodegradation of individual hydrocarbon compounds in the nutrient-amended soils was also confirmed by comparing their abundance over time to that of the conserved diesel biomarker, bicyclic sesquiterpanes (BS). During this period, microbial respiration was observed, even at subzero temperatures when unfrozen liquid water was detected during the freeze-thaw period. An increase in culturable heterotrophs and 16S rDNA copy numbers was noted during the freezing phase, and the (14)C-hexadecane mineralization in soil samples obtained from the nutrient-amended tank steadily increased. Hydrocarbon degrading bacterial populations identified as Corynebacterineae- and Alkanindiges-related strains emerged during the freezing and thawing phases, respectively, indicating there were temperature-based microbial community shifts.

  3. The growing season greenhouse gas balance of a continental tundra site in the Indigirka lowlands, NE Siberia

    M. K. van der Molen

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes were measured at a tundra site near Chokurdakh, in the lowlands of the Indigirka river in north-east Siberia. This site is one of the few stations on Russian tundra and it is different from most other tundra flux stations in its continentality. A suite of methods was applied to determine the fluxes of NEE, GPP, Reco and methane, including eddy covariance, chambers and leaf cuvettes. Net carbon dioxide fluxes were high compared with other tundra sites, with NEE=−92 g C m−2 yr−1, which is composed of an Reco=+141 g C m−2 yr−1 and GPP=−232 g C m−2 yr−1. This large carbon dioxide sink may be explained by the continental climate, that is reflected in low winter soil temperatures (−14°C, reducing the respiration rates, and short, relatively warm summers, stimulating high photosynthesis rates. Interannual variability in GPP was dominated by the frequency of light limitation (Rg<200 W m−2, whereas Reco depends most directly on soil temperature and time in the growing season, which serves as a proxy of the combined effects of active layer depth, leaf area index, soil moisture and substrate availability. The methane flux, in units of global warming potential, was +28 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1, so that the greenhouse gas balance was −64 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1. Methane fluxes depended only slightly on soil temperature and were highly sensitive to hydrological conditions and vegetation composition.

  4. Enhanced biological degradation of crude oil in a Spitsbergen tundra site

    Sveum, P.; Faksness, L.-G.

    1993-01-01

    A series of oil-contaminated tundra plots on Spitsbergen was treated with combinations of five different fertilizer additives. Both organic and mineral nutrient sources were used, alone or in combination. Biological degradation of oil was recorded in all of the plots. The extent of degradation depended on the type of fertilizer added. The local conditions influence oil degradation significantly, as well as the effect of the fertilizer. Urea, SkogAN (a slow releasing fertilizer), and a blend of fish meals all give high degrees of oil degradation. Both the microbial parameters and the total heterotrophic respiration are influenced by the addition of fertilizers. 6 refs., 13 figs., 3 tabs

  5. Carbon dioxide exchange in three tundra sites show a dissimilar response to environmental variables

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe; Lund, Magnus; Christensen, Torben Røjle

    2015-01-01

    variability. An improved understanding of the control of ancillary variables on net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) will improve the accuracy with which CO2 exchange seasonality in Arctic tundra ecosystems is modelled. Fluxes were measured with the eddy...... Lake. Growing season NEE correlated mainly to cumulative radiation and temperature-related variables at Zackenberg, while at Daring Lake the same variables showed significant correlations with the partitioned fluxes (GPP and Re). Stordalen was temperature dependent during the growing season. This study...

  6. Tundra in the rain

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans Jan W; Blok, Daan

    2012-01-01

    Precipitation amounts and patterns at high latitude sites have been predicted to change as a result of global climatic changes. We addressed vegetation responses to three years of experimentally increased summer precipitation in two previously unaddressed tundra types: Betula nana-dominated shrub...

  7. Analyzing tree cores to detect petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater at a former landfill site in the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, eastern Canadian subarctic.

    Fonkwe, Merline L D; Trapp, Stefan

    2016-08-01

    This research examines the feasibility of analyzing tree cores to detect benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and m, p, o-xylene (BTEX) compounds and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in groundwater in eastern Canada subarctic environments, using a former landfill site in the remote community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination at the landfill site is the result of environmentally unsound pre-1990s disposal of households and industrial solid wastes. Tree cores were taken from trembling aspen, black spruce, and white birch and analyzed by headspace-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. BTEX compounds were detected in tree cores, corroborating known groundwater contamination. A zone of anomalously high concentrations of total BTEX constituents was identified and recommended for monitoring by groundwater wells. Tree cores collected outside the landfill site at a local control area suggest the migration of contaminants off-site. Tree species exhibit different concentrations of BTEX constituents, indicating selective uptake and accumulation. Toluene in wood exhibited the highest concentrations, which may also be due to endogenous production. Meanwhile, MTBE was not found in the tree cores and is considered to be absent in the groundwater. The results demonstrate that tree-core analysis can be useful for detecting anomalous concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons, such as BTEX compounds, in subarctic sites with shallow unconfined aquifers and permeable soils. This method can therefore aid in the proper management of contamination during landfill operations and after site closures.

  8. Award Letter: Tundra nesting bird data rescue for the Canning River Delta long-term ecological monitoring site

    Department of the Interior — Award letter in response to Alaska Region Inventory and Monitoring 2017 request for proposals. Issued to Arctic NWR for project “Tundra nesting bird data rescue for...

  9. Analyzing tree cores to detect petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater at a former landfill site in the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, eastern Canadian subarctic

    Fonkwe, Merline L D; Trapp, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    -gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. BTEX compounds were detected in tree cores, corroborating known groundwater contamination. A zone of anomalously high concentrations of total BTEX constituents was identified and recommended for monitoring by groundwater wells. Tree cores collected outside the landfill site......This research examines the feasibility of analyzing tree cores to detect benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and m, p, o-xylene (BTEX) compounds and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in groundwater in eastern Canada subarctic environments, using a former landfill site in the remote community of Happy...... Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination at the landfill site is the result of environmentally unsound pre-1990s disposal of households and industrial solid wastes. Tree cores were taken from trembling aspen, black spruce, and white birch and analyzed by headspace...

  10. Site scale wetness classification of tundra regions with C-band SAR satellite data

    Widhalm, Barbara; Bartsch, Annett; Siewert, Matthias Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    of this approach at site scale using ENVISAT ASAR WS data (∼120 m resolution). These higher resolution ASAR WS maps have been produced for study sites representing different settings throughout the Arctic and compared to high resolution land cover maps and field survey data. It can be shown that a medium...

  11. Vegetation shift from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs in response to selective herbivory offsets carbon losses: evidence from 19 years of warming and simulated herbivory in the subarctic tundra.

    Ylänne, Henni; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2015-10-01

    Selective herbivory of palatable plant species provides a competitive advantage for unpalatable plant species, which often have slow growth rates and produce slowly decomposable litter. We hypothesized that through a shift in the vegetation community from palatable, deciduous dwarf shrubs to unpalatable, evergreen dwarf shrubs, selective herbivory may counteract the increased shrub abundance that is otherwise found in tundra ecosystems, in turn interacting with the responses of ecosystem carbon (C) stocks and CO2 balance to climatic warming. We tested this hypothesis in a 19-year field experiment with factorial treatments of warming and simulated herbivory on the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus. Warming was associated with a significantly increased vegetation abundance, with the strongest effect on deciduous dwarf shrubs, resulting in greater rates of both gross ecosystem production (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) as well as increased C stocks. Simulated herbivory increased the abundance of evergreen dwarf shrubs, most importantly Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, which led to a recent shift in the dominant vegetation from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs. Simulated herbivory caused no effect on GEP and ER or the total ecosystem C stocks, indicating that the vegetation shift counteracted the herbivore-induced C loss from the system. A larger proportion of the total ecosystem C stock was found aboveground, rather than belowground, in plots treated with simulated herbivory. We conclude that by providing a competitive advantage to unpalatable plant species with slow growth rates and long life spans, selective herbivory may promote aboveground C stocks in a warming tundra ecosystem and, through this mechanism, counteract C losses that result from plant biomass consumption. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Seasonal changes and vertical distribution of root standing biomass of graminoids and shrubs at a Siberian tundra site

    Wang, Peng; Mommer, L.; Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.; Maximov, T.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.

    2016-01-01

    Aims

    Shrub expansion is common in the tundra biome and has been linked to climate warming. However, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. This study aimed to investigate the seasonal and vertical rooting patterns of different plant functional types, which is important

  13. Ten-year trends of atmospheric mercury in the high Arctic compared to Canadian sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites

    A. S. Cole

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Global emissions of mercury continue to change at the same time as the Arctic is experiencing ongoing climatic changes. Continuous monitoring of atmospheric mercury provides important information about long-term trends in the balance between transport, chemistry, and deposition of this pollutant in the Arctic atmosphere. Ten-year records of total gaseous mercury (TGM from 2000 to 2009 were analyzed from two high Arctic sites at Alert (Nunavut, Canada and Zeppelin Station (Svalbard, Norway; one sub-Arctic site at Kuujjuarapik (Nunavik, Québec, Canada; and three temperate Canadian sites at St. Anicet (Québec, Kejimkujik (Nova Scotia and Egbert (Ontario. Five of the six sites examined showed a decreasing trend over this time period. Overall trend estimates at high latitude sites were: −0.9% yr−1 (95% confidence limits: −1.4, 0 at Alert and no trend (−0.5, +0.7 at Zeppelin Station. Faster decreases were observed at the remainder of the sites: −2.1% yr−1 (−3.1, −1.1 at Kuujjuarapik, −1.9% yr−1 (−2.1, −1.8 at St. Anicet, −1.6% yr−1 (−2.4, −1.0 at Kejimkujik and −2.2% yr−1 (−2.8, −1.7 at Egbert. Trends at the sub-Arctic and mid-latitude sites agree with reported decreases in background TGM concentration since 1996 at Mace Head, Ireland, and Cape Point, South Africa, but conflict with estimates showing an increase in global anthropogenic emissions over a similar period. Trends in TGM at the two high Arctic sites were not only less negative (or neutral overall but much more variable by season. Possible reasons for differences in seasonal and overall trends at the Arctic sites compared to those at lower latitudes are discussed, as well as implications for the Arctic mercury cycle. The first calculations of multi-year trends in reactive gaseous mercury (RGM and total particulate mercury (TPM at Alert were also performed, indicating increases from 2002 to 2009

  14. Carbon monoxide and methane in the North American Arctic and Subarctic troposphere - July-August 1988

    Harriss, R.C.; Sachse, G.W.; Hill, G.F.; Wade, L.; Bartlett, K.B.; Collins, J.E.; Steele, L.P.; Novelli, P.C. (New Hampshire Univ., Durham (United States) NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States) Lockheed Engineering Sciences Co., Hampton, VA (United States) Science and Technology Corp., Hampton, VA (United States) Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO (United States))

    1992-10-01

    Enhanced concentrations of CH4 in the unpolluted atmospheric mixed layer over both Arctic and subarctic tundra landscapes are documented here using data from the NASA Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A). The CH4 concentration gradients were determined mainly by interactions of biogenic emission from wet tundra and turbulent mixing proceses. The gradient were most frequently associated with intrusion of upper tropospheric or stratospheric air into the midtroposphere, emissions from forest and tundra fires, and long-range transport of enhanced concentration of these gases from unidentified sources. Summertime haze layers exhibited midtropospheric enhancements of CH4 similar to those measured in winter Arctic events. The observations confirm the importance of Arctic and Subarctic wetland environments as a regional source of global atmospheric CH4. 33 refs.

  15. Carbon monoxide and methane in the North American Arctic and Subarctic troposphere - July-August 1988

    Harriss, Robert C.; Sachse, Glen W.; Hill, Gerald F.; Wade, Larry; Bartlett, Karen B.; Collins, James E.; Steele, L. P.; Novelli, Paul C.

    1992-01-01

    Enhanced concentrations of CH4 in the unpolluted atmospheric mixed layer over both Arctic and subarctic tundra landscapes are documented here using data from the NASA Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition (ABLE 3A). The CH4 concentration gradients were determined mainly by interactions of biogenic emission from wet tundra and turbulent mixing proceses. The gradient were most frequently associated with intrusion of upper tropospheric or stratospheric air into the midtroposphere, emissions from forest and tundra fires, and long-range transport of enhanced concentration of these gases from unidentified sources. Summertime haze layers exhibited midtropospheric enhancements of CH4 similar to those measured in winter Arctic events. The observations confirm the importance of Arctic and Subarctic wetland environments as a regional source of global atmospheric CH4.

  16. Conifer seedling recruitment across a gradient from forest to alpine tundra: effects of species, provenance, and site

    Castanha, C.; Torn, M.S.; Germino, M.J.; Weibel, Bettina; Kueppers, L.M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Seedling germination and survival is a critical control on forest ecosystem boundaries, such as at the alpine–treeline ecotone. In addition, while it is known that species respond individualistically to the same suite of environmental drivers, the potential additional effect of local adaptation on seedling success has not been evaluated. Aims: To determine whether local adaptation may influence the position and movement of forest ecosystem boundaries, we quantified conifer seedling recruitment in common gardens across a subalpine forest to alpine tundra gradient at Niwot Ridge, Colorado, USA. Methods: We studied Pinus flexilis and Picea engelmannii grown from seed collected locally at High (3400 m a.s.l.) and Low (3060 m a.s.l.) elevations. We monitored emergence and survival of seeds sown directly into plots and survival of seedlings germinated indoors and transplanted after snowmelt. Results: Emergence and survival through the first growing season was greater for P. flexilis than P. engelmannii and for Low compared with High provenances. Yet survival through the second growing season was similar for both species and provenances. Seedling emergence and survival tended to be greatest in the subalpine forest and lowest in the alpine tundra. Survival was greater for transplants than for field-germinated seedlings. Conclusions: These results suggest that survival through the first few weeks is critical to the establishment of natural germinants. In addition, even small distances between seed sources can have a significant effect on early demographic performance – a factor that has rarely been considered in previous studies of tree recruitment and species range shifts.

  17. Hydrological patterns in warming permafrost: comparing results from a control and drained site on a floodplain tundra near Chersky, Northeast Siberia

    Boelck, Sandra; Goeckede, Mathias; Hildebrandt, Anke; Vonk, Jorien; Heimann, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Permafrost areas represent a major reservoir for organic carbon. At the same time, permafrost ecosystems are very susceptible to changing climate conditions. The stability of this reservoir, i.e. changes in lateral and vertical carbon fluxes in permafrost ecosystems, largely depends on groundwater level, temperature and vegetation community. Particularly during summer when the soil thaws and a so-called active layer develops, fluctuations in carbon flux rates are often dominantly driven by water availability. Such dry soil conditions are expected to become more frequent in the future due to deepening active layers as a consequence of climate change. This could result in degradation of polygonal tundra landscape properties with channelled water transport pathways. Therefore, water table depth and the associated groundwater fluxes are crucial to understand transport patterns and to quantify the lateral export of carbon through an aquatic system. Consequently, a fundamental understanding of hydrological patterns on ecosystem structure and function is required to close the carbon balance of permafrost ecosystems. This study focuses on small-scale hydrological patterns and its influencing factors, such as topography and precipitation events. Near Chersky, Northeast Siberia, we monitored (i) a control site of floodplain tundra, and (ii) a drained site, characterised by a drainage ring which was constructed in 2004, to study the effects of water availability on the carbon cycle. This experimental disturbance simulates drainage effects following the degradation of ice-rich permafrost ecosystems under future climate change. Continuous monitoring of water table depth in drained and control areas revealed small-scale water table variations. At several key locations, we collected water samples to determine the isotopic composition (δ18O, δD) of surface water, suprapermafrost groundwater and precipitation. Furthermore, a weir at the drainage ditch was constructed to directly

  18. Ecosystem CO2 production during winter in a Swedish subarctic region: the relative importance of climate and vegetation type

    Grogan, Paul; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2006-01-01

    General circulation models consistently predict that regional warming will be most rapid in the Arctic, that this warming will be predominantly in the winter season, and that it will often be accompanied by increasing snowfall. Paradoxically, despite the strong cold season emphasis in these predi...... will respond to climate change during winter because they indicate a threshold (~1 m) above which there would be little effect of increased snow accumulation on wintertime biogeochemical cycling....... in these predictions, we know relatively little about the plot and landscape-level controls on tundra biogeochemical cycling in wintertime as compared to summertime. We investigated the relative influence of vegetation type and climate on CO2 production rates and total wintertime CO2 release in the Scandinavian...... subarctic. Ecosystem respiration rates and a wide range of associated environmental and substrate pool size variables were measured in the two most common vegetation types of the region (birch understorey and heath tundra) at four paired sites along a 50 km transect through a strong snow depth gradient...

  19. Where do the treeless tundra areas of northern highlands fit in the global biome system: toward an ecologically natural subdivision of the tundra biome.

    Virtanen, Risto; Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Cohen, Juval; Forbes, Bruce C; Johansen, Bernt; Käyhkö, Jukka; Olofsson, Johan; Pulliainen, Jouni; Tømmervik, Hans

    2016-01-01

    delimitation problem, help in consistent characterization of research sites, and create a basis for further biogeographic and ecological research in global tundra environments.

  20. The origin of lead in the organic horizon of tundra soils: Atmospheric deposition, plant translocation from the mineral soil or soil mineral mixing?

    Klaminder, Jonatan, E-mail: jonatan.klaminder@emg.umu.se [Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umea University, 90187 Umea (Sweden); Farmer, John G. [School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, Scotland (United Kingdom); MacKenzie, Angus B. [Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride, G75 0QF, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2011-09-15

    Knowledge of the anthropogenic contribution to lead (Pb) concentrations in surface soils in high latitude ecosystems is central to our understanding of the extent of atmospheric Pb contamination. In this study, we reconstructed fallout of Pb at a remote sub-arctic region by using two ombrotrophic peat cores and assessed the extent to which this airborne Pb is able to explain the isotopic composition ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratio) in the O-horizon of tundra soils. In the peat cores, long-range atmospheric fallout appeared to be the main source of Pb as indicated by temporal trends that followed the known European pollution history, i.e. accelerated fallout at the onset of industrialization and peak fallout around the 1960s-70s. The Pb isotopic composition of the O-horizon of podzolic tundra soil ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.170 {+-} 0.002; mean {+-} SD) overlapped with that of the peat ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.16 {+-} 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.22-1.30). This finding indicated that long-range fallout of atmospheric Pb is the main driver of Pb accumulation in podzolic tundra soil. In O-horizons of tundra soil weakly affected by cryoturbation (cryosols) however, the input of Pb from the underlying mineral soil increased as indicated by {sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratios of up to 1.20, a value closer to that of local soil minerals. Nevertheless, atmospheric Pb appeared to be the dominant source in this soil compartment. We conclude that Pb concentrations in the O-horizon of studied tundra soils - despite being much lower than in boreal soils and representative for one of the least exposed sites to atmospheric Pb contaminants in Europe - are mainly controlled by atmospheric inputs from distant anthropogenic sources. - Highlights: {yields} We used Pb isotopic composition to aid interpretation of Pb profiles in tundra soils. {yields} Ombrotrophic peat

  1. The origin of lead in the organic horizon of tundra soils: Atmospheric deposition, plant translocation from the mineral soil or soil mineral mixing?

    Klaminder, Jonatan; Farmer, John G.; MacKenzie, Angus B.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of the anthropogenic contribution to lead (Pb) concentrations in surface soils in high latitude ecosystems is central to our understanding of the extent of atmospheric Pb contamination. In this study, we reconstructed fallout of Pb at a remote sub-arctic region by using two ombrotrophic peat cores and assessed the extent to which this airborne Pb is able to explain the isotopic composition ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratio) in the O-horizon of tundra soils. In the peat cores, long-range atmospheric fallout appeared to be the main source of Pb as indicated by temporal trends that followed the known European pollution history, i.e. accelerated fallout at the onset of industrialization and peak fallout around the 1960s-70s. The Pb isotopic composition of the O-horizon of podzolic tundra soil ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.170 ± 0.002; mean ± SD) overlapped with that of the peat ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.16 ± 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.22-1.30). This finding indicated that long-range fallout of atmospheric Pb is the main driver of Pb accumulation in podzolic tundra soil. In O-horizons of tundra soil weakly affected by cryoturbation (cryosols) however, the input of Pb from the underlying mineral soil increased as indicated by 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratios of up to 1.20, a value closer to that of local soil minerals. Nevertheless, atmospheric Pb appeared to be the dominant source in this soil compartment. We conclude that Pb concentrations in the O-horizon of studied tundra soils - despite being much lower than in boreal soils and representative for one of the least exposed sites to atmospheric Pb contaminants in Europe - are mainly controlled by atmospheric inputs from distant anthropogenic sources. - Highlights: → We used Pb isotopic composition to aid interpretation of Pb profiles in tundra soils. → Ombrotrophic peat cores were used as records of atmospheric inputs of Pb.

  2. Complex effects of mammalian grazing on extramatrical mycelial biomass in the Scandes forest-tundra ecotone.

    Vowles, Tage; Lindwall, Frida; Ekblad, Alf; Bahram, Mohammad; Furneaux, Brendan R; Ryberg, Martin; Björk, Robert G

    2018-01-01

    Mycorrhizal associations are widespread in high-latitude ecosystems and are potentially of great importance for global carbon dynamics. Although large herbivores play a key part in shaping subarctic plant communities, their impact on mycorrhizal dynamics is largely unknown. We measured extramatrical mycelial (EMM) biomass during one growing season in 16-year-old herbivore exclosures and unenclosed control plots (ambient), at three mountain birch forests and two shrub heath sites, in the Scandes forest-tundra ecotone. We also used high-throughput amplicon sequencing for taxonomic identification to investigate differences in fungal species composition. At the birch forest sites, EMM biomass was significantly higher in exclosures (1.36 ± 0.43 g C/m 2 ) than in ambient conditions (0.66 ± 0.17 g C/m 2 ) and was positively influenced by soil thawing degree-days. At the shrub heath sites, there was no significant effect on EMM biomass (exclosures: 0.72 ± 0.09 g C/m 2 ; ambient plots: 1.43 ± 0.94). However, EMM biomass was negatively related to Betula nana abundance, which was greater in exclosures, suggesting that grazing affected EMM biomass positively. We found no significant treatment effects on fungal diversity but the most abundant ectomycorrhizal lineage/cortinarius, showed a near-significant positive effect of herbivore exclusion ( p  = .08), indicating that herbivory also affects fungal community composition. These results suggest that herbivory can influence fungal biomass in highly context-dependent ways in subarctic ecosystems. Considering the importance of root-associated fungi for ecosystem carbon balance, these findings could have far-reaching implications.

  3. Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis, E-mail: subhasis.ghoshal@mcgill.ca

    2014-09-15

    Highlights: • Aeration and moisture addition alone caused extensive hydrocarbon biodegradation. • 30-day slurry reactor remediation endpoints attained in 385 days in biopiles. • High nitrogen concentrations inhibited hydrocarbon degradation. • Inhibition of biodegradation linked to lack of shifts in soil microbial community. - Abstract: Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16–C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15 °C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16–C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day{sup −1} in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day{sup −1} in slurry bioreactors for C16–C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction

  4. Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Aeration and moisture addition alone caused extensive hydrocarbon biodegradation. • 30-day slurry reactor remediation endpoints attained in 385 days in biopiles. • High nitrogen concentrations inhibited hydrocarbon degradation. • Inhibition of biodegradation linked to lack of shifts in soil microbial community. - Abstract: Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16–C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15 °C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16–C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day −1 in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day −1 in slurry bioreactors for C16–C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction were

  5. Pilot-scale bioremediation of a petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated clayey soil from a sub-Arctic site.

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2014-09-15

    Bioremediation is a potentially cost-effective solution for petroleum contamination in cold region sites. This study investigates the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (C16-C34) in a pilot-scale biopile experiment conducted at 15°C for periods up to 385 days, with a clayey soil, from a crude oil-impacted site in northern Canada. Although several studies on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from cold region sites have been reported for coarse-textured, sandy soils, there are limited studies of bioremediation of petroleum contamination in fine-textured, clayey soils. Our results indicate that aeration and moisture addition was sufficient for achieving 47% biodegradation and an endpoint of 530 mg/kg for non-volatile (C16-C34) petroleum hydrocarbons. Nutrient amendment with 95 mg-N/kg showed no significant effect on biodegradation compared to a control system without nutrient but similar moisture content. In contrast, in a biopile amended with 1340 mg-N/kg, no statistically significant biodegradation of non-volatile fraction was detected. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of alkB and 16S rRNA genes revealed that inhibition of hydrocarbon biodegradation was associated with a lack of change in microbial community composition. Overall, our data suggests that biopiles are feasible for attaining the bioremediation endpoint in clayey soils. Despite the significantly lower biodegradation rate of 0.009 day(-1) in biopile tank compared to 0.11 day(-1) in slurry bioreactors for C16-C34 hydrocarbons, the biodegradation extents for this fraction were comparable in these two systems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Carbon dioxide exchange in subarctic ecosystems measured by a micrometeorological technique

    Aurela, M.

    2005-01-01

    The atmospheric CO 2 concentration and the surface air temperatures have increased since the pre-industrial era, and the increase in both is predicted to continue during the 21st century. The feedback mechanisms between the changing climate and the carbon cycle are complex, and more information is needed about carbon exchange in different ecosystems. Northern Finland lies in the transition zone between boreal forest and tundra where the ecosystems are especially sensitive to any changes in the climate. In 1995-2004, micrometeorological eddy covariance measurements were conducted to yield continuous data on the CO 2 exchange between the atmosphere and the biosphere in northern Finland on four different ecosystems: an aapa mire, a mountain birch forest, a Scots pine forest and a Norway spruce forest. A measurement system enabling year-round measurements in the harsh subarctic conditions was developed and shown to be suitable for long-term exchange studies. A comparison of the CO 2 flux components, photosynthesis and respiration, at different ecosystems in the European subarctic and arctic regions showed that the leaf area index (LAI) is the key determinant of the gross photosynthetic rates, explaining greatest part of the variation between these ecosystems. Respiration did not show such a strong correlation with LAI, but in general, high respiration rates were related to high values of LAI. The first continuous round-the-year measurements of net ecosystem CO 2 exchange on a subarctic wetland were conducted at Kaamanen. The winter-time CO 2 efflux (of about 90 g CO 2 m -2 yr -1 ) was shown to constitute an essential part of the annual CO 2 balance (of -79 g CO 2 m -2 yr -1 in 1997-2002). The annual CO 2 balances at all sites in northern Finland were relatively small compared with those in lower latitudes. The interannual variation of the CO 2 balance at Kaamanen was marked (-15 to -195 g CO 2 m -2 yr -1 ) during the years 1997-2002. The most important factor

  7. Tundra Rehabilitation in Alaska's Arctic

    Lynn, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    Oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic has been conducted for more than 40 years, resulting in over 3,640 ha of gravel fill placed for roads, pads, and airstrips to support the industry. Likewise, tundra disturbance from burying power lines and by tundra vehicle travel are also common. Rehabilitation of disturbed sites began around 2002, with well over 150 ha that has been previously treated or is currently being rehabilitated. Two primary goals of rehabilitation efforts have been 1) revegetation by indigenous species, and 2) limiting thermokarst. Early efforts were concerned that removing gravel and having exposed bare ground would lead to extensive subsidence and eolian erosion. Native grass cultivars (e.g. Poa glauca, Arctagrostis latifolia, and Festuca rubra) were seeded to create vegetation cover quickly with the expectation that these grasses would survive only temporarily. The root masses and leaf litter were also expected to trap indigenous seed to enhance natural recolonization by indigenous plants. Due to the remote location of these sites, many of which are only accessible by helicopter, most are visited only two to three times following cultivation treatments, providing a limited data pool. At many sites, the total live seeded grass cover declined about 15% over the first 5¬-6 years (from around 30% to 15% cover), while total live indigenous vascular cover increased from no or trace cover to an average of 10% cover in that time. Cover of indigenous vascular plants at sites that were not seeded with native grass cultivars averaged just less than 10% after 10 years, showing no appreciable difference between the two approaches. Final surface elevations at the sites affect local hydrology and soil moisture. Other factors that influence the success of vegetation cover are proximity to the Arctic coast (salt effects), depth of remaining gravel, and changes in characteristics of the near-surface soil. Further development of rehabilitation techniques and the

  8. Comparison of snow melt properties across multiple spatial scales and landscape units in interior sub-Arctic boreal Alaskan watersheds

    Bennett, K. E.; Cherry, J. E.; Hiemstra, C. A.; Bolton, W. R.

    2013-12-01

    Interior sub-Arctic Alaskan snow cover is rapidly changing and requires further study for correct parameterization in physically based models. This project undertook field studies during the 2013 snow melt season to capture snow depth, snow temperature profiles, and snow cover extent to compare with observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor at four different sites underlain by discontinuous permafrost. The 2013 melt season, which turned out to be the latest snow melt period on record, was monitored using manual field measurements (SWE, snow depth data collection), iButtons to record temperature of the snow pack, GoPro cameras to capture time lapse of the snow melt, and low level orthoimagery collected at ~1500 m using a Navion L17a plane mounted with a Nikon D3s camera. Sites were selected across a range of landscape conditions, including a north facing black spruce hill slope, a south facing birch forest, an open tundra site, and a high alpine meadow. Initial results from the adjacent north and south facing sites indicate a highly sensitive system where snow cover melts over just a few days, illustrating the importance of high resolution temporal data capture at these locations. Field observations, iButtons and GoPro cameras show that the MODIS data captures the melt conditions at the south and the north site with accuracy (2.5% and 6.5% snow cover fraction present on date of melt, respectively), but MODIS data for the north site is less variable around the melt period, owing to open conditions and sparse tree cover. However, due to the rapid melt rate trajectory, shifting the melt date estimate by a day results in a doubling of the snow cover fraction estimate observed by MODIS. This information can assist in approximating uncertainty associated with remote sensing data that is being used to populate hydrologic and snow models (the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting model, coupled with SNOW-17, and the Variable

  9. Recovery of Arctic and Sub-Arctic vegetation nine summers after crude and diesel oil spills

    Hutchinson, T. C

    1984-01-01

    In August 1980 experimental oil spill sites set up in spruce taiga at Norman Wells and on tundra at Tuktoyaktuk from 1972-75 were monitored to determine degree of recovery of vegeta tion from summer & winter spills...

  10. Vectors and transmission dynamics for Setaria tundra (Filarioidea; Onchocercidae, a parasite of reindeer in Finland

    Kuusela Jussi

    2009-01-01

    apparently promote transmission and genesis of disease outbreaks by favouring the development of S. tundra in its mosquito vectors, by improving the development and longevity of mosquitoes, and finally by forcing the reindeer to flock on mosquito rich wetlands. Thus we predict that global climate change has the potential to promote the further emergence of Filarioid nematodes and the disease caused by them in subarctic regions.

  11. Ecohydrological Controls on Intra-Basin Alpine Subarctic Water Balances

    Carey, S. K.; Ziegler, C. M.

    2007-12-01

    In the mountainous Canadian subarctic, elevation gradients control the disposition of vegetation, permafrost, and characteristics of the soil profile. How intra-basin ecosystems combine to control catchment-scale water and biogeochimcal cycling is uncertain. To this end, a multi-year ecohydrological investigation was undertaken in Granger Basin (GB), a 7.6 km2 sub-basin of the Wolf Creek Research Basin, Yukon Territory, Canada. GB was divided into four sub-basins based on the dominant vegetation and permafrost status, and the timing and magnitude of hydrological processes were compared using hydrometric and hydrochemical methods. Vegetation plays an important role in end-of-winter snow accumulation as snow redistribution by wind is controlled by roughness length. In sub-basins of GB with tall shrubs, snow accumulation is enhanced compared with areas of short shrubs and tundra vegetation. The timing of melt was staggered with elevation, although melt-rates were similar among the sub-basins. Runoff was enhanced at the expense of infiltration in tall shrub areas due to high snow water equivalent and antecedent soil moisture. In the high-elevation tundra sub-basin, thin soils with cold ground temperatures resulted in increased surface runoff. For the freshet period, the lower and upper sub-basins accounted for 81 % of runoff while accounting for 58 % of the total basin area. Two-component isotopic hydrograph separation revealed that during melt, pre-event water dominated in all sub-basins, yet those with greater permafrost disposition and taller shrubs had increased event-water. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) spiked prior to peak freshet in each sub-basin except for the highest with thin soils, and was associated with flushing of surficial organic soils. For the post-melt period, all sub-basins have similar runoff contributions. Solute and stable isotope data indicate that in sub-basins dominated by permafrost, supra-permafrost runoff pathways predominate as flow

  12. Individual inter-annual nest-site relocation behaviour drives dynamics of a recently established Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis colony in sub-arctic Russia

    Karagicheva, Julia; Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Dobrynin, Dmitry; Saveliev, Anatoly; Rozenfeld, Sofia; Pokrovskaya, Olga; Stahl, Julia; Prop, Jouke; Litvin, Konstantin

    Avian breeding colonies are generally in a continuous state of flux, some parts growing whilst others shrink as individuals move within the colony on the search for better nest-sites. We examined the role of experience in breeding patch choice by individually marked Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis

  13. Nitrogen Uptake During Fall, Winter and Spring Differs Among Plant Functional Groups in a Subarctic Heath Ecosystem

    Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a critical resource for plant growth in tundra ecosystems, and species differences in the timing of N uptake may be an important feature regulating community composition and ecosystem productivity. We added 15N-labelled glycine to a subarctic heath tundra dominated by dwarf shrubs...... to 37 ± 7% by April indicating significant microbial N turnover prior to spring thaw. Only the evergreen dwarf shrubs showed active 15N acquisition before early May indicating that they had the highest potential of all functional groups for acquiring nutrients that became available in early spring....... The faster-growing deciduous shrubs did not resume 15N acquisition until after early May indicating that they relied more on nitrogen made available later during the spring/early summer. The graminoids and mosses had no significant increases in 15N tracer recovery or tissue 15N tracer concentrations after...

  14. Reflectance spectra of subarctic lichens

    Petzold, D.E.; Goward, S.N.

    1988-01-01

    Lichens constitute a major portion of the ground cover of high latitude environments, but little has been reported concerning their in situ solar spectral reflectance properties. Knowledge of these properties is important for the interpretation of remotely sensed observations from high latitude regions, as well as in studies of high latitude ecology and energy balance climatology. The spectral reflectance of common boreal vascular plants is similar to that of vascular plants of the mid latitudes. The dominant lichens, in contrast, display variable reflectance patterns in visible wavelengths. The relative reflectance peak at 0.55 μm, common to green vegetation, is absent or indistinct in spectra of pervasive boreal forest and tundra lichens, despite the presence of chlorophyll in the inner algal cells. Lichens of the dominant genus, Cladina, display strong absorption of ultraviolet energy and short-wavelength blue light relative to their absorption in other visible wavelengths. Since the Cladinae dominate both the surface vegetation in open woodlands of the boreal forest and the low arctic tundra, their unusual spectral reflectance patterns will enable accurate monitoring of the boreal forest-tundra ecotone and detection of its vigor and movement in the future. (author)

  15. Reflectance spectra of subarctic lichens

    Petzold, Donald E.; Goward, Samuel N.

    1988-01-01

    Lichens constitute a major portion of the ground cover of high latitude environments, but little has been reported concerning their in situ solar spectral reflectance properties. Knowledge of these properties is important for the interpretation of remotely sensed observations from high latitude regions, as well as in studies of high latitude ecology and energy balance climatology. The spectral reflectance of common boreal vascular plants is similar to that of vascular plants of the midlatitudes. The dominant lichens, in contrast, display variable reflectance patterns in visible wavelengths. The relative reflectance peak at 0.55 microns, common to green vegetation, is absent or indistinct in spectra of pervasive boreal forest and tundra lichens, despite the presence of chlorophyll in the inner algal cells. Lichens of the dominant genus, Cladina, display strong absorption of ultraviolet energy and short-wavelength blue light relative to their absorption in other visible wavelengths. Since the Cladinae dominate both the surface vegetation in open woodlands of the boreal forest and the low arctic tundra, their unusual spectral reflectance patterns will enable accurate monitoring of the boreal forest-tundra ecotone and detection of its vigor and movement in the future.

  16. Effects of diurnal temperature variation on microbial community and petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in contaminated soils from a sub-Arctic site.

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2015-12-01

    Contaminated soils are subject to diurnal and seasonal temperature variations during on-site ex-situ bioremediation processes. We assessed how diurnal temperature variations similar to that in summer at the site from which petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil was collected affect the soil microbial community and the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons compared with constant temperature regimes. Microbial community analyses for 16S rRNA and alkB genes by pyrosequencing indicated that the microbial community for soils incubated under diurnal temperature variation from 5°C to 15°C (VART5-15) evolved similarly to that for soils incubated at constant temperature of 15°C (CST15). In contrast, under a constant temperature of 5°C (CST5), the community evolved significantly different. The extent of biodegradation of C10-C16 hydrocarbons in the VART5-15 systems was 48%, comparable with the 41% biodegradation in CST15 systems, but significantly higher than CST5 systems at 11%. The enrichment of Gammaproteobacteria was observed in the alkB gene-harbouring communities in VART5-15 and CST15 but not in CST5 systems. However, the Actinobacteria was abundant at all temperature regimes. The results suggest that changes in microbial community composition as a result of diurnal temperature variations can significantly influence petroleum hydrocarbon bioremediation performance in cold regions. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...

  18. Relationship of cyanobacterial and algal assemblages with vegetation in the high Arctic tundra (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago

    Richter Dorota

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of a study of cyanobacteria and green algae assemblages occurring in various tundra types determined on the basis of mosses and vascular plants and habitat conditions. The research was carried out during summer in the years 2009-2013 on the north sea-coast of Hornsund fjord (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago. 58 sites were studied in various tundra types differing in composition of vascular plants, mosses and in trophy and humidity. 141 cyanobacteria and green algae were noted in the research area in total. Cyanobacteria and green algae flora is a significant element of many tundra types and sometimes even dominate there. Despite its importance, it has not been hitherto taken into account in the description and classification of tundra. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the legitimacy of using phycoflora in supplementing the descriptions of hitherto described tundra and distinguishing new tundra types. Numeric hierarchical-accumulative classification (MVSP 3.1 software methods were used to analyze the cyanobacterial and algal assemblages and their co-relations with particular tundra types. The analysis determined dominant and distinctive species in the communities in concordance with ecologically diverse types of tundra. The results show the importance of these organisms in the composition of the vegetation of tundra types and their role in the ecosystems of this part of the Arctic.

  19. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  20. A Microwave Radiance Assimilation Study for a Tundra Snowpack

    Kim, Edward; Durand, Michael; Margulis, Steve; England, Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have begun exploring the assimilation of microwave radiances for the modeling and retrieval of snow properties. At a point scale, and for short durations (i week), radiance assimilation (RA) results are encouraging. However, in order to determine how practical RA might be for snow retrievals when applied over longer durations, larger spatial scales, and/or different snow types, we must expand the scope of the tests. In this paper we use coincident microwave radiance measurements and station data from a tundra site on the North Slope of Alaska. The field data are from the 3rd Radio-brightness Energy Balance Experiment (REBEX-3) carried out in 1994-95 by the University of Michigan. This dataset will provide a test of RA over months instead of one week, and for a very different type of snow than previous snow RA studies. We will address the following questions: flow well can a snowpack physical model (SM), forced with local weather, match measured conditions for a tundra snowpack?; How well can a microwave emission model, driven by the snowpack model, match measured microwave brightnesses for a tundra snowpack?; How well does RA increase or decrease the fidelity of estimates of snow depth and temperatures for a tundra snowpack?

  1. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Henry, Gregory H.R.; Hollister, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations...... of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups...... to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed...

  2. Competition for tracer 15N in tussock tundra ecosystems

    Marion, G.M.; Miller, P.C.; Black, C.H.

    1987-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the roles of plant species, time, and site on competition for tracer 15 N (without carrier) in tussock tundra ecosystems. Six experimental sites were located in northern Alaska. After one year across the experimental sites, the recovery of 15 N by litter (11.3-16.3%) and mosses (5.4-16.4%) was significantly greater than for aboveground vascular plants (2.6-5.0%). 15 N recoveries by tundra vascular plants (2.6-5.0%) were low when compared to forest trees (9-25%) which suggst that competition for nitrogen is particularly severe in these colddominated tundra ecosystems. There were no significant differences among sites in 15 N recoveries by vascular plants, by mosses, or by litter. There was a statistically significant decline in 15 N recovery with time for Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Eriophoum vaginatum between the second and third year. The shallow rooted Vaccinium vitis-ideae was more highly labeled than the deep rooted Eriophorum vaginatum. Nearness to the source of the applied 15 N played a critical role in competition for surface applied nitrogen. (author)

  3. TUNDRA IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

    Terry Callaghan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Both palaeogeographical reconstructions and general circulation models indicate that global warming is especially strongly manifested in high latitudes. Under a 2°C increase in mean global temperature, almost the entire modern tundra zone would become potentially suitable for tree growth. Nevertheless, palaeobotanic data cannot be applied directly to estimating vegetation response to the global warming expected in the 21st century, as they characterize a quasi-equilibrium state of ecosystems, which takes several centuries to be achieved. Low migration rates of trees, damage caused by fires and insects, processes of soil drying or paludification, and influence of herbivorous animals and human activities may slow down considerably forest spread in tundra. Climate warming will probably cause a decline in the populations of Arctic species and expansion of ranges of some southern animal species into the Arctic.

  4. Rapid carbon turnover beneath shrub and tree vegetation is associated with low soil carbon stocks at a subarctic treeline.

    Parker, Thomas C; Subke, Jens-Arne; Wookey, Philip A

    2015-05-01

    Climate warming at high northern latitudes has caused substantial increases in plant productivity of tundra vegetation and an expansion of the range of deciduous shrub species. However significant the increase in carbon (C) contained within above-ground shrub biomass, it is modest in comparison with the amount of C stored in the soil in tundra ecosystems. Here, we use a 'space-for-time' approach to test the hypothesis that a shift from lower-productivity tundra heath to higher-productivity deciduous shrub vegetation in the sub-Arctic may lead to a loss of soil C that out-weighs the increase in above-ground shrub biomass. We further hypothesize that a shift from ericoid to ectomycorrhizal systems coincident with this vegetation change provides a mechanism for the loss of soil C. We sampled soil C stocks, soil surface CO2 flux rates and fungal growth rates along replicated natural transitions from birch forest (Betula pubescens), through deciduous shrub tundra (Betula nana) to tundra heaths (Empetrum nigrum) near Abisko, Swedish Lapland. We demonstrate that organic horizon soil organic C (SOCorg ) is significantly lower at shrub (2.98 ± 0.48 kg m(-2) ) and forest (2.04 ± 0.25 kg m(-2) ) plots than at heath plots (7.03 ± 0.79 kg m(-2) ). Shrub vegetation had the highest respiration rates, suggesting that despite higher rates of C assimilation, C turnover was also very high and less C is sequestered in the ecosystem. Growth rates of fungal hyphae increased across the transition from heath to shrub, suggesting that the action of ectomycorrhizal symbionts in the scavenging of organically bound nutrients is an important pathway by which soil C is made available to microbial degradation. The expansion of deciduous shrubs onto potentially vulnerable arctic soils with large stores of C could therefore represent a significant positive feedback to the climate system. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Bird communities of the arctic shrub tundra of Yamal: habitat specialists and generalists.

    Vasiliy Sokolov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.

  6. Hg Storage and Mobility in Tundra Soils of Northern Alaska

    Olson, C.; Obrist, D.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) can be transported over long distances to remote regions such as the Arctic where it can then deposit and temporarily be stored in soils. This research aims to improve the understanding of terrestrial Hg storage and mobility in the arctic tundra, a large receptor area for atmospheric deposition and a major source of Hg to the Arctic Ocean. We aim to characterize spatial Hg pool sizes across various tundra sites and to quantify the mobility of Hg from thawing tundra soils using laboratory mobility experiments. Active layer and permafrost soil samples were collected in the summer of 2014 and 2015 at the Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska (68° 38' N) and along a 200 km transect extending from Toolik to the Arctic Ocean. Soil samples were analyzed for total Hg concentration, bulk density, and major and trace elements. Hg pool sizes were estimated by scaling up Hg soil concentrations using soil bulk density measurements. Mobility of Hg in tundra soils was quantified by shaking soil samples with ultrapure Milli-Q® water as an extracting solution for 24 and 72 hours. Additionally, meltwater samples were collected for analysis when present. The extracted supernatant was analyzed for total Hg, dissolved organic carbon, cations and anions, redox, and ph. Mobility of Hg from soil was calculated using Hg concentrations determined in solid soil samples and in supernatant of soil solution samples. Results of this study show Hg levels in tundra mineral soils that are 2-5 times higher than those observed at temperate sites closer to pollution sources. Most of the soil Hg was located in mineral horizons where Hg mass accounted for 72% of the total soil pool. Soil Hg pool sizes across the tundra sites were highly variable (166 - 1,365 g ha-1; avg. 419 g ha-1) due to the heterogeneity in soil type, bulk density, depth to frozen layer, and soil Hg concentration. Preliminary results from the laboratory experiment show higher mobility of Hg in mineral

  7. Diversity of active aerobic methanotrophs along depth profiles of arctic and subarctic lake water column and sediments

    He, Ruo; Wooller, Matthew J.; Pohlman, John W.; Quensen, John; Tiedje, James M.; Leigh, Mary Beth

    2012-01-01

    Methane (CH4) emitted from high-latitude lakes accounts for 2–6% of the global atmospheric CH4 budget. Methanotrophs in lake sediments and water columns mitigate the amount of CH4 that enters the atmosphere, yet their identity and activity in arctic and subarctic lakes are poorly understood. We used stable isotope probing (SIP), quantitative PCR (Q-PCR), pyrosequencing and enrichment cultures to determine the identity and diversity of active aerobic methanotrophs in the water columns and sediments (0–25 cm) from an arctic tundra lake (Lake Qalluuraq) on the north slope of Alaska and a subarctic taiga lake (Lake Killarney) in Alaska's interior. The water column CH4 oxidation potential for these shallow (~2m deep) lakes was greatest in hypoxic bottom water from the subarctic lake. The type II methanotroph, Methylocystis, was prevalent in enrichment cultures of planktonic methanotrophs from the water columns. In the sediments, type I methanotrophs (Methylobacter, Methylosoma and Methylomonas) at the sediment-water interface (0–1 cm) were most active in assimilating CH4, whereas the type I methanotroph Methylobacter and/or type II methanotroph Methylocystis contributed substantially to carbon acquisition in the deeper (15–20 cm) sediments. In addition to methanotrophs, an unexpectedly high abundance of methylotrophs also actively utilized CH4-derived carbon. This study provides new insight into the identity and activity of methanotrophs in the sediments and water from high-latitude lakes.

  8. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

    Results of sulfur emission measurements made in freshwater and marine wetlands in Alaskan tundra during the Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition 2A (ABLE 3A) in July 1988 are presented. The data indicate that this type of tundra emits very small amounts of gaseous sulfur and, when extrapolated globally, accounts for a very small percentage of the global flux of biogenic sulfur to the atmosphere. Sulfur emissions from marine sites are up to 20-fold greater than fluxes from freshwater habitats and are dominated by dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Highest emissions, with a mean of 6.0 nmol/sq m/h, occurred in water-saturated wet meadow areas. In drier upland tundra sites, highest fluxes occurred in areas inhabited by mixed vegetation and labrador tea at 3.0 nmol/sq m/h and lowest fluxes were from lichen-dominated areas at 0.9 nmol/sq m/h. DMS was the dominant gas emitted from all these sites. Emissions of DMS were highest from intertidal soils inhabited by Carex subspathacea.

  9. Indicators of reproduction of the tundra vole (microtus oeconomus pallas, 1776) in Palesse state radiation-ecological reserve

    Kuchmel', S.V.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003-2007 reproductive indicators of the tundra vole in territory of Palesse state radiation-ecological reserve have been caused by factors of an inhabitancy and are peculiar to this kind on other sites of dwelling. (authors)

  10. Differential Utilization of Carbon Substrates by Bacteria and Fungi in Tundra Soil

    Rinnan, Riikka; Bååth, Erland

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the contribution of bacteria and fungi to decomposition of different carbon compounds in arctic soils, which are an important carbon store and possibly vulnerable to climate warming. Soil samples from a subarctic tundra heath were incubated with 13C-labeled glucose, acetic...... at concentrations low enough not to affect the total amount of PLFA. The label of glucose and acetic acid was rapidly incorporated into the PLFA in a pattern largely corresponding to the fatty acid concentration profile, while glycine and especially starch were mainly taken up by bacteria and not fungi, showing......, the allocation decreased over time, indicating use of the storage products, whereas for vanillin incorporation into fungal NLFA increased during the incubation. In addition to providing information on functioning of the microbial communities in an arctic soil, our study showed that the combination of PLFA...

  11. Doubled volatile organic compound emissions from subarctic tundra under simulated climate warming

    Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Paivi; Rinnan, Åsmund

    2010-01-01

    heath hosting a long-term warming and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) litter addition experiment. • The relatively low emissions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes were doubled in response to an air temperature increment of only 1.9-2.5°C, while litter addition had a minor influence...

  12. Inter-annual variability of NDVI in response to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge and tussock tundra.

    Boelman, Natalie T; Stieglitz, Marc; Griffin, Kevin L; Shaver, Gaius R

    2005-05-01

    This study explores the relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and aboveground plant biomass for tussock tundra vegetation and compares it to a previously established NDVI-biomass relationship for wet sedge tundra vegetation. In addition, we explore inter-annual variation in NDVI in both these contrasting vegetation communities. All measurements were taken across long-term experimental treatments in wet sedge and tussock tundra communities at the Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, in northern Alaska. Over 15 years (for wet sedge tundra) and 14 years (for tussock tundra), N and P were applied in factorial experiments (N, P and N+P), air temperature was increased using greenhouses with and without N+P fertilizer, and light intensity was reduced by 50% using shade cloth. during the peak growing seasons of 2001, 2002, and 2003, NDVI measurements were made in both the wet sedge and tussock tundra experimental treatment plots, creating a 3-year time series of inter-annual variation in NDVI. We found that: (1) across all tussock experimental tundra treatments, NDVI is correlated with aboveground plant biomass (r2 = 0.59); (2) NDVI-biomass relationships for tussock and wet sedge tundra communities are community specific, and; (3) NDVI values for tussock tundra communities are typically, but not always, greater than for wet sedge tundra communities across all experimental treatments. We suggest that differences between the response of wet sedge and tussock tundra communities in the same experimental treatments result from the contrasting degree of heterogeneity in species and functional types that characterize each of these Arctic tundra vegetation communities.

  13. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

    Zona, Donatella; Gioli, Beniamino; Commane, Róisín; Lindaas, Jakob; Wofsy, Steven C.; Miller, Charles E.; Dinardo, Steven J.; Dengel, Sigrid; Sweeney, Colm; Karion, Anna; Chang, Rachel Y.-W.; Henderson, John M.; Murphy, Patrick C.; Goodrich, Jordan P.; Moreaux, Virginie; Liljedahl, Anna; Watts, Jennifer D.; Kimball, John S.; Lipson, David A.; Oechel, Walter C.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are major global sources of methane (CH4); hence, it is important to understand the seasonal and climatic controls on CH4 emissions from these systems. Here, we report year-round CH4 emissions from Alaskan Arctic tundra eddy flux sites and regional fluxes derived from aircraft data. We find that emissions during the cold season (September to May) account for ≥50% of the annual CH4 flux, with the highest emissions from noninundated upland tundra. A major fraction of cold season emissions occur during the "zero curtain" period, when subsurface soil temperatures are poised near 0 °C. The zero curtain may persist longer than the growing season, and CH4 emissions are enhanced when the duration is extended by a deep thawed layer as can occur with thick snow cover. Regional scale fluxes of CH4 derived from aircraft data demonstrate the large spatial extent of late season CH4 emissions. Scaled to the circumpolar Arctic, cold season fluxes from tundra total 12 ± 5 (95% confidence interval) Tg CH4 y-1, ∼25% of global emissions from extratropical wetlands, or ∼6% of total global wetland methane emissions. The dominance of late-season emissions, sensitivity to soil environmental conditions, and importance of dry tundra are not currently simulated in most global climate models. Because Arctic warming disproportionally impacts the cold season, our results suggest that higher cold-season CH4 emissions will result from observed and predicted increases in snow thickness, active layer depth, and soil temperature, representing important positive feedbacks on climate warming.

  14. UV-absorbing compounds in subarctic herbarium bryophytes

    Huttunen, S. [Botany Division, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 3000, FIN-90 014 University of Oulu (Finland)]. E-mail: satu.huttunen@oulu.fi; Lappalainen, N.M. [Botany Division, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 3000, FIN-90 014 University of Oulu (Finland); Turunen, J. [Botany Division, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 3000, FIN-90 014 University of Oulu (Finland)

    2005-01-01

    The UV-B-absorbing compounds of herbarium specimens of 10 subarctic bryophyte species collected during the years 1926-1996 and available at the Botanical Museum, University of Oulu, were studied. We studied whether herbarium specimens reflect changes in the past radiation climate through their methanol-extractable compounds. The order of gametophytes based on the average amount of total compounds (sum of A{sub 280-320nm}) per mass from the lowest to the highest was Polytrichum commune, Pleurozium schreberi, Hylocomium splendens, Sphagnum angustifolium, Dicranum scoparium, Funaria hygrometrica, Sphagnum fuscum, Sphagnum warnstorfii, Sphagnum capillifolium and Polytrichastrum alpinum, and the amount of UV-B-absorbing compounds per specific surface area correlated with the summertime daily global radiation and latitude. P. alpinum, F. hygrometrica and three Sphagnum species seem to be good indicators for further studies. The amount of UV-B-absorbing compounds revealed no significant trends from the 1920s till the 1990s, with the exception of S. capillifolium, which showed a significant decreasing trend. - UV-B-absorbing compounds in subarctic herbarium bryophytes indicate the radiation climate of the collecting site and time.

  15. UV-absorbing compounds in subarctic herbarium bryophytes

    Huttunen, S.; Lappalainen, N.M.; Turunen, J.

    2005-01-01

    The UV-B-absorbing compounds of herbarium specimens of 10 subarctic bryophyte species collected during the years 1926-1996 and available at the Botanical Museum, University of Oulu, were studied. We studied whether herbarium specimens reflect changes in the past radiation climate through their methanol-extractable compounds. The order of gametophytes based on the average amount of total compounds (sum of A 280-320nm ) per mass from the lowest to the highest was Polytrichum commune, Pleurozium schreberi, Hylocomium splendens, Sphagnum angustifolium, Dicranum scoparium, Funaria hygrometrica, Sphagnum fuscum, Sphagnum warnstorfii, Sphagnum capillifolium and Polytrichastrum alpinum, and the amount of UV-B-absorbing compounds per specific surface area correlated with the summertime daily global radiation and latitude. P. alpinum, F. hygrometrica and three Sphagnum species seem to be good indicators for further studies. The amount of UV-B-absorbing compounds revealed no significant trends from the 1920s till the 1990s, with the exception of S. capillifolium, which showed a significant decreasing trend. - UV-B-absorbing compounds in subarctic herbarium bryophytes indicate the radiation climate of the collecting site and time

  16. The need for a tundra treatment protocol

    Filler, D.M.

    2000-01-01

    Support services formed an integral part of the oil and natural gas industry in the Arctic. These services include the road transportation of petroleum fuels to supply pipeline pump station generators, work camps, fleet vehicles and others. At times, spill response in the tundra proves to be harmful to the environment. An incident occurred in November 1997. A tanker truck was hauling arctic-grade diesel fuel on Alaska's North Slope when it rolled over at a river crossing, spilling 20,800 liters on the frozen tundra. The in situ burning that followed polluted the subsurface soil-water matrix within the river basin. It was difficult to distinguish between petroleum pollutant and biogenic hydrocarbon contributions in the tundra. A tundra treatment manual was then developed for the proper management of land-based fuel and oil spills in the Arctic. This manual takes into account the sensitive environment of the region. 14 refs., 4 figs

  17. Potential effects of ultraviolet radiation reduction on tundra nitrous oxide and methane fluxes in maritime Antarctica.

    Bao, Tao; Zhu, Renbin; Wang, Pei; Ye, Wenjuan; Ma, Dawei; Xu, Hua

    2018-02-27

    Stratospheric ozone has begun to recover in Antarctica since the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. However, the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on tundra greenhouse gas fluxes are rarely reported for Polar Regions. In the present study, tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes were measured under the simulated reduction of UV radiation in maritime Antarctica over the last three-year summers. Significantly enhanced N 2 O and CH 4 emissions occurred at tundra sites under the simulated reduction of UV radiation. Compared with the ambient normal UV level, a 20% reduction in UV radiation increased tundra emissions by an average of 8 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 93 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 , whereas a 50% reduction in UV radiation increased their emissions by an average of 17 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 128 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 . No statistically significant correlation (P > 0.05) was found between N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes and soil temperature, soil moisture, total carbon, total nitrogen, NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N contents. Our results confirmed that UV radiation intensity is an important factor affecting tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes in maritime Antarctica. Exclusion of the effects of reduced UV radiation might underestimate their budgets in Polar Regions with the recovery of stratospheric ozone.

  18. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: heterogeneity over space and time

    Sarah C. Elmendorf; Gregory H.R. Henry; Robert D. Hollister; Robert G. Björk; Anne D. Bjorkman; Terry V. Callaghan; [and others] NO-VALUE; William Gould; Joel Mercado

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty...

  19. Trichinella in arctic, subarctic and temperate regions

    Kapel, C. M O

    1997-01-01

    The transmission and occurrence of Trichinella spp according to the zoogeography of different climatic conditions, socioeconomy and human activity are discussed. Comparing arctic, subarctic and temperate regions, it appears that the species of Trichinella present, the composition of the fauna...... and the human activity are all very important interacting factors affecting epidemiology. In Greenland, where only sylvatic trichinellosis is present, the high prevalence in wildlife appears closely connected with polar bear hunting. In the Scandinavian countries, the prevalence of both sylvatic and domestic...

  20. Human paleoecological integration in subarctic eastern Beringia

    Lanoë, François B.; Reuther, Joshua D.; Holmes, Charles E.; Hodgins, Gregory W. L.

    2017-11-01

    We contribute to the understanding of megafauna extinction and human dispersal in subarctic eastern Beringia by focusing on changes in the trophic dynamics of the large mammal community as well as the ecological role of humans as a predator and competitor. We reconstruct habitat use by megafauna and humans throughout the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary based on zooarchaeological data and stable isotope ratios of collagen. Our results are consistent with habitat heterogeneity and availability being important factors in the changing abundance of large herbivores. We argue that an increase in herbivore diversity and biomass at the beginning of the Bølling-Allerød interstadial and a relative lack of competitors favored the initial human colonization of subarctic eastern Beringia. As herbivore resources dwindled later in the Late Glacial, people increasingly relied on bison and wapiti. By efficiently extracting some of the highest-ranked resources in the landscape, people are likely to have contributed to the trophic displacement or regional extirpation of other large predators. The ecological patterns that we observe in subarctic eastern Beringia are consistent with a mixture of both top-down and bottom-up controls over biotic turnover.

  1. Intra-basin variability of snowmelt water balance calculations in a subarctic catchment

    McCartney, Stephen E.; Carey, Sean K.; Pomeroy, John W.

    2006-03-01

    The intra-basin variability of snowmelt and melt-water runoff hydrology in an 8 km2 subarctic alpine tundra catchment was examined for the 2003 melt period. The catchment, Granger Creek, is within the Wolf Creek Research Basin, Yukon, which is typical of mountain subarctic landscapes in northwestern Canada. The study catchment was segmented into nine internally uniform zones termed hydrological response units (HRUs) based on their similar hydrological, physiographic, vegetation and soil properties. Snow accumulation exhibited significant variability among the HRUs, with greatest snow water equivalent in areas of tall shrub vegetation. Melt began first on southerly exposures and at lower elevations, yet average melt rates for the study period varied little among HRUs with the exception of those with steep aspects. In HRUs with capping organic soils, melt water first infiltrated this surface horizon, satisfying its storage capacity, and then percolated into the frozen mineral substrate. Infiltration and percolation into frozen mineral soils was restricted where melt occurred rapidly and organic soils were thin; in this case, melt-water delivery rates exceeded the frozen mineral soil infiltration rate, resulting in high runoff rates. In contrast, where there were slower melt rates and thick organic soils, infiltration was unlimited and runoff was suppressed. The snow water equivalent had a large impact on runoff volume, as soil storage capacity was quickly surpassed in areas of deep snow, diverting the bulk of melt water laterally to the drainage network. A spatially distributed water balance indicated that the snowmelt freshet was primarily controlled by areas with tall shrub vegetation that accumulate large quantities of snow and by alpine areas with no capping organic soils. The intra-basin water balance variability has important implications for modelling freshet in hydrological models.

  2. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Beck, Pieter S.A.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance1–4. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost2,5–8, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting...... of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate–growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and 42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses...... demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern...

  3. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: heterogeneity over space and time.

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Henry, Gregory H R; Hollister, Robert D; Björk, Robert G; Bjorkman, Anne D; Callaghan, Terry V; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Cooper, Elisabeth J; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Day, Thomas A; Fosaa, Anna Maria; Gould, William A; Grétarsdóttir, Járngerður; Harte, John; Hermanutz, Luise; Hik, David S; Hofgaard, Annika; Jarrad, Frith; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Keuper, Frida; Klanderud, Kari; Klein, Julia A; Koh, Saewan; Kudo, Gaku; Lang, Simone I; Loewen, Val; May, Jeremy L; Mercado, Joel; Michelsen, Anders; Molau, Ulf; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Oberbauer, Steven F; Pieper, Sara; Post, Eric; Rixen, Christian; Robinson, Clare H; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Shaver, Gaius R; Stenström, Anna; Tolvanen, Anne; Totland, Orjan; Troxler, Tiffany; Wahren, Carl-Henrik; Webber, Patrick J; Welker, Jeffery M; Wookey, Philip A

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed. There was little indication of saturating or accelerating effects, as would be predicted if negative or positive vegetation feedbacks were common. These results indicate that tundra vegetation exhibits strong regional variation in response to warming, and that in vulnerable regions, cumulative effects of long-term warming on tundra vegetation - and associated ecosystem consequences - have the potential to be much greater than we have observed to date. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  4. Tundra shrub effects on growing season energy and carbon dioxide exchange

    Lafleur, Peter M.; Humphreys, Elyn R.

    2018-05-01

    Increased shrub cover on the Arctic tundra is expected to impact ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and energy resulting in feedbacks to the climate system, yet few direct measurements of shrub tundra-atmosphere exchanges are available to corroborate expectations. Here we present energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes measured using the eddy covariance technique over six growing seasons at three closely located tundra sites in Canada’s Low Arctic. The sites are dominated by the tundra shrub Betula glandulosa, but percent cover varies from 17%–60% and average shrub height ranges from 18–59 cm among sites. The site with greatest percent cover and height had greater snow accumulation, but contrary to some expectations, it had similar late-winter albedo and snow melt dates compared to the other two sites. Immediately after snowmelt latent heat fluxes increased more slowly at this site compared to the others. Yet by the end of the growing season there was little difference in cumulative latent heat flux among the sites, suggesting evapotranspiration was not increased with greater shrub cover. In contrast, lower albedo and less soil thaw contributed to greater summer sensible heat flux at the site with greatest shrub cover, resulting in greater total atmospheric heating. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 revealed the potential for enhanced carbon cycling rates under greater shrub cover. Spring CO2 emissions were greatest at the site with greatest percent cover of shrubs, as was summer net uptake of CO2. The seasonal net sink for CO2 was ~2 times larger at the site with the greatest shrub cover compared to the site with the least shrub cover. These results largely agree with expectations that the growing season feedback to the atmosphere arising from shrub expansion in the Arctic has the potential to be negative for CO2 fluxes but positive for turbulent energy fluxes.

  5. Human exposure to soil contaminants in subarctic Ontario, Canada

    Ellen Stephanie Reyes

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Chemical contaminants in the Canadian subarctic present a health risk with exposures primarily occurring via the food consumption. Objective: Characterization of soil contaminants is needed in northern Canada due to increased gardening and agricultural food security initiatives and the presence of known point sources of pollution. Design: A field study was conducted in the western James Bay Region of Ontario, Canada, to examine the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (ΣDDT, other organochlorines, and metals/metalloids in potentially contaminated agriculture sites. Methods: Exposure pathways were assessed by comparing the estimated daily intake to acceptable daily intake values. Ninety soil samples were collected at random (grid sampling from 3 plots (A, B, and C in Fort Albany (on the mainland, subarctic Ontario, Canada. The contaminated-soil samples were analysed by gas chromatography with an electron capture detector or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Results: The range of ΣDDT in 90 soil samples was below the limit of detection to 4.19 mg/kg. From the 3 soil plots analysed, Plot A had the highest ΣDDT mean concentration of 1.12 mg/kg, followed by Plot B and Plot C which had 0.09 and 0.01 mg/kg, respectively. Concentrations of other organic contaminants and metals in the soil samples were below the limit of detection or found in low concentrations in all plots and did not present a human health risk. Conclusions: Exposure analyses showed that the human risk was below regulatory thresholds. However, the ΣDDT concentration in Plot A exceeded soil guidelines set out by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment of 0.7 mg/kg, and thus the land should not be used for agricultural or recreational purposes. Both Plots B and C were below threshold limits, and this land can be used for agricultural purposes.

  6. The tundra - a threat to global climate?

    Roejle Christensen, T.

    1997-01-01

    The tundra biome has an important direct influence on the global climate through its exchange of radiatively active 'greenhouse gases', carbon dioxide and methane. A number of suggestions have been raised as to how a changing climate may alter the natural state of this exchange causing significant feedback effects in a changing climate. This paper provides a brief discussion of three different issues relating to the interaction between tundra and climate. It is concluded that release of methane hydrates, permafrost degradation and major biome changes are processes which in the long term may have important effects on further development of the global climate. (au) 32 refs

  7. Surface energy exchanges along a tundra-forest transition and feedbacks to climate

    Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; Thompson, Catharine Copass; McGuire, A.D.

    2005-01-01

    Surface energy exchanges were measured in a sequence of five sites representing the major vegetation types in the transition from arctic tundra to forest. This is the major transition in vegetation structure in northern high latitudes. We examined the influence of vegetation structure on the rates of sensible heating and evapotranspiration to assess the potential feedbacks to climate if high-latitude warming were to change the distribution of these vegetation types. Measurements were made at Council on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, at representative tundra, low shrub, tall shrub, woodland (treeline), and boreal forest sites. Structural differences across the transition from tundra to forest included an increase in the leaf area index (LAI) from 0.52 to 2.76, an increase in canopy height from 0.1 to 6.1 m, and a general increase in canopy complexity. These changes in vegetation structure resulted in a decrease in albedo from 0.19 to 0.10 as well as changes to the partitioning of energy at the surface. Bulk surface resistance to water vapor flux remained virtually constant across sites, apparently because the combined soil and moss evaporation decreased while transpiration increased along the transect from tundra to forest. In general, sites became relatively warmer and drier along the transect with the convective fluxes being increasingly dominated by sensible heating, as evident by an increasing Bowen ratio from 0.94 to 1.22. The difference in growing season average daily sensible heating between tundra and forest was 21 W m-2. Fluxes changed non-linearly along the transition, with both shrubs and trees substantially enhancing heat transfer to the atmosphere. These changes in vegetation structure that increase sensible heating could feed back to enhance warming at local to regional scales. The magnitude of these vegetation effects on potential high-latitude warming is two to three times greater than suggested by previous modeling studies. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All

  8. Diazotrophy in alluvial meadows of subarctic river systems.

    Thomas H DeLuca

    Full Text Available There is currently limited understanding of the contribution of biological N2 fixation (diazotrophy to the N budget of large river systems. This natural source of N in boreal river systems may partially explain the sustained productivity of river floodplains in Northern Europe where winter fodder was harvested for centuries without fertilizer amendments. In much of the world, anthropogenic pollution and river regulation have nearly eliminated opportunities to study natural processes that shaped early nutrient dynamics of large river systems; however, pristine conditions in northern Fennoscandia allow for the retrospective evaluation of key biochemical processes of historical significance. We investigated biological N2 fixation (diazotrophy as a potential source of nitrogen fertility at 71 independent floodplain sites along 10 rivers and conducted seasonal and intensive analyses at a subset of these sites. Biological N2 fixation occurred in all floodplains, averaged 24.5 kg N ha(-1 yr(-1 and was down regulated from over 60 kg N ha(-1 yr(-1 to 0 kg N ha(-1 yr(-1 by river N pollution. A diversity of N2-fixing cyanobacteria was found to colonize surface detritus in the floodplains. The data provide evidence for N2 fixation to be a fundamental source of new N that may have sustained fertility at alluvial sites along subarctic rivers. Such data may have implications for the interpretation of ancient agricultural development and the design of contemporary low-input agroecosystems.

  9. Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming: results from an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

    Zhang, Wenxin; Miller, Paul A.; Smith, Benjamin; Wania, Rita; Koenigk, Torben; Döscher, Ralf

    2013-09-01

    One major challenge to the improvement of regional climate scenarios for the northern high latitudes is to understand land surface feedbacks associated with vegetation shifts and ecosystem biogeochemical cycling. We employed a customized, Arctic version of the individual-based dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS to simulate the dynamics of upland and wetland ecosystems under a regional climate model-downscaled future climate projection for the Arctic and Subarctic. The simulated vegetation distribution (1961-1990) agreed well with a composite map of actual arctic vegetation. In the future (2051-2080), a poleward advance of the forest-tundra boundary, an expansion of tall shrub tundra, and a dominance shift from deciduous to evergreen boreal conifer forest over northern Eurasia were simulated. Ecosystems continued to sink carbon for the next few decades, although the size of these sinks diminished by the late 21st century. Hot spots of increased CH4 emission were identified in the peatlands near Hudson Bay and western Siberia. In terms of their net impact on regional climate forcing, positive feedbacks associated with the negative effects of tree-line, shrub cover and forest phenology changes on snow-season albedo, as well as the larger sources of CH4, may potentially dominate over negative feedbacks due to increased carbon sequestration and increased latent heat flux.

  10. Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming: results from an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

    Zhang Wenxin; Miller, Paul A; Smith, Benjamin; Wania, Rita; Koenigk, Torben; Döscher, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    One major challenge to the improvement of regional climate scenarios for the northern high latitudes is to understand land surface feedbacks associated with vegetation shifts and ecosystem biogeochemical cycling. We employed a customized, Arctic version of the individual-based dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS to simulate the dynamics of upland and wetland ecosystems under a regional climate model–downscaled future climate projection for the Arctic and Subarctic. The simulated vegetation distribution (1961–1990) agreed well with a composite map of actual arctic vegetation. In the future (2051–2080), a poleward advance of the forest–tundra boundary, an expansion of tall shrub tundra, and a dominance shift from deciduous to evergreen boreal conifer forest over northern Eurasia were simulated. Ecosystems continued to sink carbon for the next few decades, although the size of these sinks diminished by the late 21st century. Hot spots of increased CH 4 emission were identified in the peatlands near Hudson Bay and western Siberia. In terms of their net impact on regional climate forcing, positive feedbacks associated with the negative effects of tree-line, shrub cover and forest phenology changes on snow-season albedo, as well as the larger sources of CH 4 , may potentially dominate over negative feedbacks due to increased carbon sequestration and increased latent heat flux. (letter)

  11. Human-animal agency in reindeer management: Sami herders' perspectives on Fennoscandian tundra vegetation dynamics under climate change

    Forbes, B. C.; Horstkotte, T.; Utsi, T. A.; Larsson-Blind, Å.; Burgess, P.; Käyhkö, J.; Oksanen, L.; Johansen, B.

    2016-12-01

    Many primary livelihoods in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions are increasingly faced with accelerating effects of climate change and resource exploitation. The often close connection between indigenous populations and the dynamics of their respective territories allows them to make detailed observations of how these changes transform the landscapes where they practice their daily activities. Here, we report Sami reindeer herders' observations based on their long-term occupancy and use of contrasting pastoral landscapes in northern Fennoscandia. In particular, we focus on the capacity for various herd management regimes to prevent a potential transformation of open tundra vegetation to shrubland or woodland. Fennoscandian Sami herders did not confirm a substantial, rapid or large-scale transformation of treeless arctic-alpine areas into shrub- and/or woodlands as a consequence of climate change. However, where encroachment of open tundra landscapes has been observed, a range of drivers were deemed responsible. These included abiotic conditions, anthropogenic influences and the direct and indirect effects of reindeer. Mountain birch tree line advances were in some cases associated with reduced or discontinued grazing, depending on the seasonal significance of these particular areas. In the many places where tree line has risen, herding practices have by necessity adapted to these changes. Exploiting the capacity of reindeer grazing/browsing as a conservation tool offers new adaptive strategies of ecosystem management to counteract a potential encroachment of the tundra by woody plants. However, such novel solutions in environmental governance are confronted with difficult trade-offs involved in ecosystem management for ecologically reasonable, economically viable and socially desirable management strategies.

  12. Carbon dioxide in Arctic and subarctic regions

    Gosink, T. A.; Kelley, J. J.

    1981-03-01

    A three year research project was presented that would define the role of the Arctic ocean, sea ice, tundra, taiga, high latitude ponds and lakes and polar anthropogenic activity on the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Due to the large physical and geographical differences between the two polar regions, a comparison of CO/sub 2/ source and sink strengths of the two areas was proposed. Research opportunities during the first year, particularly those aboard the Swedish icebreaker, YMER, provided additional confirmatory data about the natural source and sink strengths for carbon dioxide in the Arctic regions. As a result, the hypothesis that these natural sources and sinks are strong enough to significantly affect global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is considerably strengthened. Based on the available data we calculate that the whole Arctic region is a net annual sink for about 1.1 x 10/sup 15/ g of CO/sub 2/, or the equivalent of about 5% of the annual anthropogenic input into the atmosphere. For the second year of this research effort, research on the seasonal sources and sinks of CO/sub 2/ in the Arctic will be continued. Particular attention will be paid to the seasonal sea ice zones during the freeze and thaw periods, and the tundra-taiga regions, also during the freeze and thaw periods.

  13. Effects of sub-Arctic shrub canopies on snowmelt energetics

    Bewley, D.; Essery, R.; Pomeroy, J.

    2006-12-01

    Much of the low Arctic is covered with shrub tundra, and there is increasing evidence that snowmelt rates are substantially different between shrub tundra and poorly vegetated sites. The cause of this remains uncertain, however, and extends beyond simple differences in albedo. Results are presented in this study from a detailed field investigation at Wolf Creek Research Basin in 2004 to determine the effect of two different shrub canopy structures on both melt rates and the partitioning of melt energy. The low shrub site (LSS) was essentially an unvegetated snowfield prior to melt (mean albedo ~0.85), and shrubs only became exposed during the last few days of melt reaching a mean height of 0.31 m and mean Plant Area Index (PAI) of 0.32. Shrubs at the tall shrub site (TSS) were partially buried initially (shrub fraction, mean height and PAI of 0.2, 0.9 m and 0.41) but dominated the landscape by the end of melt (corresponding values of 0.71, 1.6 m and 0.6). Melt rates were higher at TSS up until the exposure of shrubs and bare ground at LSS, after which the rates converged. A Shrub-Snow Canopy Model (SSCM) is developed to improve snowmelt simulations for shrub canopies by parameterizing the key shrub effects on surface fluxes, including the extinction of shortwave irradiance beneath shrubs and in canopy gaps, and the enhancement of snow surface fluxes of longwave radiation and sensible heat. SSCM was run for LSS assuming no shrubs were present above the variable snow and bare ground tiles, whereas for TSS an increasing shrub fraction above each tile was prescribed from observations. Results from both sites suggest that sensible heat fluxes contributed more melt energy than net radiation, and were greater during early melt at TSS due to the warming of exposed shrubs. SWE was accurately predicted against transect measurements at TSS (rms error 4 mm), but was overestimated at LSS (rms error 13 mm) since both air temperatures and turbulent transport were underestimated

  14. Tundra vegetation effects on pan-Arctic albedo

    Loranty, Michael M; Goetz, Scott J; Beck, Pieter S A

    2011-01-01

    Recent field experiments in tundra ecosystems describe how increased shrub cover reduces winter albedo, and how subsequent changes in surface net radiation lead to altered rates of snowmelt. These findings imply that tundra vegetation change will alter regional energy budgets, but to date the effects have not been documented at regional or greater scales. Using satellite observations and a pan-Arctic vegetation map, we examined the effects of shrub vegetation on albedo across the terrestrial Arctic. We included vegetation classes dominated by low shrubs, dwarf shrubs, tussock-dominated graminoid tundra, and non-tussock graminoid tundra. Each class was further stratified by bioclimate subzones. Low-shrub tundra had higher normalized difference vegetation index values and earlier albedo decline in spring than dwarf-shrub tundra, but for tussock tundra, spring albedo declined earlier than for low-shrub tundra. Our results illustrate how relatively small changes in vegetation properties result in differences in albedo dynamics, regardless of shrub growth, that may lead to differences in net radiation upwards of 50 W m -2 at weekly time scales. Further, our findings imply that changes to the terrestrial Arctic energy budget during this important seasonal transition are under way regardless of whether recent satellite observed productivity trends are the result of shrub expansion. We conclude that a better understanding of changes in vegetation productivity and distribution in Arctic tundra is essential for accurately quantifying and predicting carbon and energy fluxes and associated climate feedbacks.

  15. Environmental and vegetation controls on the spatial variability of CH4 emission from wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.

    McEwing, Katherine Rose; Fisher, James Paul; Zona, Donatella

    Despite multiple studies investigating the environmental controls on CH 4 fluxes from arctic tundra ecosystems, the high spatial variability of CH 4 emissions is not fully understood. This makes the upscaling of CH 4 fluxes from plot to regional scale, particularly challenging. The goal of this study is to refine our knowledge of the spatial variability and controls on CH 4 emission from tundra ecosystems. CH 4 fluxes were measured in four sites across a variety of wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in Alaska using chambers and a Los Gatos CO 2 and CH 4 gas analyser. All sites were found to be sources of CH 4 , with northern sites (in Barrow) showing similar CH 4 emission rates to the southernmost site (ca. 300 km south, Ivotuk). Gross primary productivity (GPP), water level and soil temperature were the most important environmental controls on CH 4 emission. Greater vascular plant cover was linked with higher CH 4 emission, but this increased emission with increased vascular plant cover was much higher (86 %) in the drier sites, than the wettest sites (30 %), suggesting that transport and/or substrate availability were crucial limiting factors for CH 4 emission in these tundra ecosystems. Overall, this study provides an increased understanding of the fine scale spatial controls on CH 4 flux, in particular the key role that plant cover and GPP play in enhancing CH 4 emissions from tundra soils.

  16. Methylocella tundrae sp. nov., a novel methanotrophic bacterium from acidic tundra peatlands.

    Dedysh, Svetlana N; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Vasylieva, Lina V; Belova, Svetlana E; Khmelenina, Valentina N; Suzina, Natalia E; Trotsenko, Yuri A; Liesack, Werner; Zavarzin, George A

    2004-01-01

    A novel species, Methylocella tundrae, is proposed for three methanotrophic strains (T4T, TCh1 and TY1) isolated from acidic Sphagnum tundra peatlands. These strains are aerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, dinitrogen-fixing rods that possess a soluble methane monooxygenase and utilize the serine pathway for carbon assimilation. Strains T4T, TCh1 and TY1 are moderately acidophilic organisms capable of growth between pH 4.2 and 7.5 (optimum 5.5-6.0) and between 5 and 30 degrees C (optimum 15 degrees C). The major phospholipid fatty acid is 18:1omega7c. The DNA G+C content of strain T4T is 63.3 mol%. The three strains possess almost identical 16S rRNA gene sequences and are most closely related to two previously identified species of Methylocella, Methylocella palustris (97% similarity) and Methylocella silvestris (97.5% similarity). DNA-DNA hybridization values of strain T4T with Methylocella palustris KT and Methylocella silvestris BL2T were respectively 27 and 36%. Thus, the tundra strains represent a novel species, for which the name Methylocella tundrae sp. nov. is proposed. Strain T4T (=DSM 15673T=NCIMB 13949T) is the type strain.

  17. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    Nauta, Ake L.; Heijmans, Monique P.D.; Blok, Daan

    2015-01-01

    , including expansion of woody vegetation5,6, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing...... the shrub part of the vegetation initiated thawing of ice-rich permafrost, resulting in collapse of the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions within five years. This thaw pond development shifted the plots from a methane sink into a methane source. The results of our field......-emitting wet depressions could become more abundant in the lowland tundra landscape, at the cost of permafrost-stabilizing low shrub vegetation....

  18. [Nitrogen bio-cycle in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra].

    Wei, Jing; Zhao, Jing-zhu; Deng, Hong-bing; Wu, Gang; Hao, Ying-jie; Shang, Wen-yan

    2005-03-01

    The nitrogen bio-cycle was discussed in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain through compartment model. The alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was compared with Arctic tundra by the common ratio of genus and species in this paper. It was found that the 89.3% of genus and 58.6% of species was the common between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra while 95.5% of lichen genus and 58.7% lichen species, 82.1% of moss genus and 76.3% of moss species, 93.1% of vascular bundle genus and 40.5% of vascular bundle species were the common, respectively, which made vegetation type or community to be similar between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra. The total storage of nitrogen was 65220.6 t in the vegetation-plant system of Changbai Mountain, of which soil pool amounted to 99.3%. The nitrogen storage of each compartment was as follows: the vegetation pool, litterfall pool and soil pool were 237.4 t, 145.3 t and 64837.9 t respectively. The transferable amounts of nitrogen were 131.7 t x a(-1), 58 t/a and 73.7 t x a(-1) in the aboveground plant, belowground root system and litterfall of alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain.

  19. Tundra plant above-ground biomass and shrub dominance mapped across the North Slope of Alaska

    Berner, Logan T.; Jantz, Patrick; Tape, Ken D.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2018-03-01

    Arctic tundra is becoming greener and shrubbier due to recent warming. This is impacting climate feedbacks and wildlife, yet the spatial distribution of plant biomass in tundra ecosystems is uncertain. In this study, we mapped plant and shrub above-ground biomass (AGB; kg m-2) and shrub dominance (%; shrub AGB/plant AGB) across the North Slope of Alaska by linking biomass harvests at 28 field sites with 30 m resolution Landsat satellite imagery. We first developed regression models (p plant AGB (r 2 = 0.79) and shrub AGB (r 2 = 0.82) based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from imagery acquired by Landsat 5 and 7. We then predicted regional plant and shrub AGB by combining these regression models with a regional Landsat NDVI mosaic built from 1721 summer scenes acquired between 2007 and 2016. Our approach employed a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis that propagated sampling and sensor calibration errors. We estimated that plant AGB averaged 0.74 (0.60, 0.88) kg m-2 (95% CI) and totaled 112 (91, 135) Tg across the region, with shrub AGB accounting for ~43% of regional plant AGB. The new maps capture landscape variation in plant AGB visible in high resolution satellite and aerial imagery, notably shrubby riparian corridors. Modeled shrub AGB was strongly correlated with field measurements of shrub canopy height at 25 sites (rs  = 0.88) and with a regional map of shrub cover (rs  = 0.76). Modeled plant AGB and shrub dominance were higher in shrub tundra than graminoid tundra and increased between areas with the coldest and warmest summer air temperatures, underscoring the fact that future warming has the potential to greatly increase plant AGB and shrub dominance in this region. These new biomass maps provide a unique source of ecological information for a region undergoing rapid environmental change.

  20. Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry.

    Ely, Craig R; Franson, J Christian

    2014-04-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas where they are less likely to be exposed to anthropogenic sources of Pb. Our objective was to document summer Pb levels in tundra swans throughout their breeding range in Alaska to determine if there were population-specific differences in blood Pb concentrations that might pose a threat to swans and to humans that may consume them. We measured blood Pb concentrations in tundra swans at five locations in Alaska, representing birds that winter in both the Pacific Flyway and Atlantic Flyway. We also marked swans at each location with satellite transmitters and coded neck bands, to identify staging and wintering sites and determine if winter site use correlated with summer Pb concentrations. Blood Pb levels were generally low (<0.2 μg/ml) in swans across all breeding areas. Pb levels were lower in cygnets than adults, suggesting that swans were likely exposed to Pb on wintering areas or on return migration to Alaska, rather than on the summer breeding grounds. Blood Pb levels varied significantly across the five breeding areas, with highest concentrations in birds on the North Slope of Alaska (wintering in the Atlantic Flyway), and lowest in birds from the lower Alaska Peninsula that rarely migrate south for winter.

  1. New data on the natural environment of the Middle and Late Neopleistocene interglacial periods in the east of the European Subarctic Region of Russia

    Andreicheva, L. N.; Marchenko-Vagapova, T. I.

    2017-11-01

    The data obtained from investigation of the Middle and Late Neopleistocene lake sediments in the European Subarctic Region of Russia are reported. Chirva, Rodionovo (Scklov), Sula (Mikulino), and Byzovaya (Leningrad) sediments were subject to palynological analysis and investigation of particle size distribution and mineral composition. The spore-pollen spectra of the Chirva sediments demonstrate two climatic optima: the lower optimum is dominated by the pollen of Pinus sylvestris and broad-leaved species (up to 10%); the upper optimum is dominated by Picea sp. and Pinus sylvestris, while the pollen of Picea sect. Omorica and broad-leaved species are sporadic. The Rodionovo flora is characterized by a more xerophilous composition relative to the Chirva flora and a higher pollen content of pine, birch, wormseed plants, and wormwood. The climatic optimum of the Sula interglacial is distinguished by boreal vegetation, including spruce, birch, and birch-spruce forests with sparse broad-leaved species. The Byzovaya interstadial is marked by seven stages of changes in the vegetation: from tundra and forest-tundra communities to taiga forests with some broad-leaved species. The natural climatic sedimentation conditions in the Middle and Late Neopleistocene interglacial periods are reconstructed. The mineral composition of sediments was largely formed owing to underlying deposits.

  2. Migration of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) Wintering in Japan Using Satellite Tracking: Identification of the Eastern Palearctic Flyway.

    Chen, Wenbo; Doko, Tomoko; Fujita, Go; Hijikata, Naoya; Tokita, Ken-Ichi; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Konishi, Kan; Hiraoka, Emiko; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2016-02-01

    Migration through the Eastern Palearctic (EP) flyway by tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) has not been thoroughly documented. We satellite-tracked the migration of 16 tundra swans that winter in Japan. The objectives of this study were 1) to show the migration pattern of the EP flyway of tundra swans; 2) to compare this pattern with the migration pattern of whooper swans; and 3) to identify stopover sites that are important for these swans' conservation. Tundra swans were captured at Kutcharo Lake, Hokkaido, in 2009-2012 and satellite-tracked. A new method called the "MATCHED (Migratory Analytical Time Change Easy Detection) method" was developed. Based on median, the spring migration began on 18 April and ended on 27 May. Autumn migration began on 9 September and ended on 2 November. The median duration of the spring and autumn migrations were 48 and 50 days, respectively. The mean duration at one stopover site was 5.5 days and 6.8 days for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The number of stopover sites was 3.0 and 2.5 for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The mean travel distances for the spring and autumn migrations were 6471 and 6331 km, respectively. Seven migration routes passing Sakhalin, the Amur River, and/or Kamchatka were identified. There were 15, 32, and eight wintering, stopover, and breeding sites, respectively. The migration routes and staging areas of tundra swans partially overlap with those of whooper swans, whose migration patterns have been previously documented. The migration patterns of these two swan species that winter in Japan confirm the importance of the Amur River, Udyl' Lake, Shchastya Bay, Aniva Bay, zaliv Chayvo Lake, zal Piltun Lake, zaliv Baykal Lake, Kolyma River, Buyunda River, Sen-kyuyel' Lake, and northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk.

  3. Stem secondary growth of tundra shrubs

    Campioli, Matteo; Leblans, Niki; Michelsen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Our knowledge of stem secondary growth of arctic shrubs (a key component of tundra net primary production, NPP) is very limited. Here, we investigated the impact of the physical elements of the environment on shrub secondary growth by comparing annual growth rates of model species from similar...... growth (stem apical growth, stem length, and apical growth of stem plus leaves), in some cases even with opposite responses. Thus caution should be taken when estimating the impact of the environment on shrub growth from apical growth only. Integration of our data set with the (very limited) previously...

  4. Bacterial carbon cycling in a subarctic fjord

    Middelboe, Mathias; Glud, Ronnie Nøhr; Sejr, M.K.

    2012-01-01

    of viruses on bacterial mortality (4–36% of cell production) and carbon cycling. Heterotrophic bacterial consumption was closely coupled with autochthonous BDOC production, and the majority of the primary production was consumed by pelagic bacteria at all seasons. The relatively low measured BGE emphasized......In this seasonal study, we examined the environmental controls and quantitative importance of bacterial carbon consumption in the water column and the sediment in the subarctic Kobbefjord, Greenland. Depth-integrated bacterial production in the photic zone varied from 5.0 ± 2.7 mg C m−2 d−1...... in February to 42 ± 28 mg C m−2 d−1 in May and 34 ± 7 mg C m−2 d−1 in September, corresponding to a bacterial production to primary production ratio of 0.34 ± 0.14, 0.07 ± 0.04, and 0.08 ± 0.06, respectively. Based on measured bacterial growth efficiencies (BGEs) of 0.09–0.10, pelagic bacterial carbon...

  5. Freeze-thaw regime effects on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sub-arctic heath tundra mesocosms

    Grogan, P.; Michelsen, A.; Ambus, P.

    2004-01-01

    phase, and in a subsequent equilibration phase. A single deep freeze treatment phase enhanced dissolved total and labelled N pools in the soil solution at initial thaw, and resulted in reduced pool sizes at the end of the equilibration phase. By contrast, a multiple freeze-thaw cycling treatment......, these results indicate that moderate freeze-thaw fluctuations may have minimal influences on microbial biomass pools, but nevertheless can have strong contrasting effects on the amounts, forms, and timing of N and organic C supply into the soil solution. Ecosystem losses via N2O effluxes were of greatest...... directly enhanced the dissolved labelled N pool, but did not significantly affect dissolved total N. Furthermore, both dissolved labelled N and dissolved total N pools were significantly enhanced in the equilibration period following multiple freeze-thaw, the latter due to a marked increase in soil...

  6. Plant growth response to direct and indirect temperature effects varies by vegetation type and elevation in a subarctic tundra

    De Long, Jonathan R.; Kardol, P.; Sundqvist, Maja K.; Veen, G. F.; Wardle, David A.

    2015-01-01

    There has been growing recent use of elevational gradients as tools for assessing effects of temperature changes on vegetation properties, because these gradients enable temperature effects to be considered over larger spatial and temporal scales than is possible through conventional experiments.

  7. Winter Insulation By Snow Accumulation in a Subarctic Treeline Ecosystem Increases Summer Carbon Cycling Rates

    Parker, T.; Subke, J. A.; Wookey, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    The effect of snow accumulation on soil carbon and nutrient cycling is attracting substantial attention from researchers. We know that deeper snow accumulation caused by high stature vegetation increases winter microbial activity and therefore carbon and nitrogen flux rates. However, until now the effect of snow accumulation, by buffering winter soil temperature, on subsequent summer soil processes, has scarcely been considered. We carried out an experiment at an alpine treeline in subarctic Sweden in which soil monoliths, contained within PVC collars, were transplanted between forest (deep winter snow) and tundra heath (shallow winter snow). We measured soil CO2efflux over two growing seasons and quantified soil microbial biomass after the second winter. We showed that respiration rates of transplanted forest soil were significantly reduced compared with control collars (remaining in the forest) as a consequence of colder, but more variable, winter temperatures. We hypothesised that microbial biomass would be reduced in transplanted forests soils but found there was no difference compared to control. We therefore further hypothesised that the similarly sized microbial pool in the control is assembled differently to the transplant. We believe that the warmer winters in forests foster more active consortia of decomposer microbes as a result of different abiotic selection pressures. Using an ecosystem scale experimental approach, we have identified a mechanism that influences summer carbon cycling rates based solely on the amount of snow that accumulates the previous winter. We conclude that modification of snow depth as a consequence of changes in vegetation structure is an important mechanism influencing soil C stocks in ecosystems where snow persists for a major fraction of the year.

  8. Characterization of subarctic vegetation using ground based remote sensing methods

    Finnell, D.; Garnello, A.; Palace, M. W.; Sullivan, F.; Herrick, C.; Anderson, S. M.; Crill, P. M.; Varner, R. K.

    2014-12-01

    Stordalen mire is located at 68°21'N and 19°02'E in the Swedish subarctic. Climate monitoring has revealed a warming trend spanning the past 150 years affecting the mires ability to hold stable palsa/hummock mounds. The micro-topography of the landscape has begun to degrade into thaw ponds changing the vegetation cover from ombrothrophic to minerotrophic. Hummocks are ecologically important due to their ability to act as a carbon sinks. Thaw ponds and sphagnum rich transitional zones have been documented as sources of atmospheric CH4. An objective of this project is to determine if a high resolution three band camera (RGB) and a RGNIR camera could detect differences in vegetation over five different site types. Species composition was collected for 50 plots with ten repetitions for each site type: palsa/hummock, tall shrub, semi-wet, tall graminoid, and wet. Sites were differentiated based on dominating species and features consisting of open water presence, sphagnum spp. cover, graminoid spp. cover, or the presence of dry raised plateaus/mounds. A pole based camera mount was used to collect images at a height of ~2.44m from the ground. The images were cropped in post-processing to fit a one-square meter quadrat. Texture analysis was performed on all images, including entropy, lacunarity, and angular second momentum. Preliminary results suggested that site type influences the number of species present. The p-values for the ability to predict site type using a t-test range from use of a stepwise regression of texture variables, actual vs. predicted percent of vegetation coverage provided R squared values of 0.73, 0.71, 0.67, and 0.89 for C. bigelowii, R. chamaemorus, Sphagnum spp., and open water respectively. These data have provided some support to the notion that texture analyses can be used for classification of mire site types. Future work will involve scaling up from the 50 plots through the use of data collected from two unmanned aerial systems (UAS), as

  9. Quantifying Fire Impact on Alaskan Tundra from Satellite Observations and Field Measurements

    Loboda, T. V.; Chen, D.; He, J.; Jenkins, L. K.

    2017-12-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance agent in Alaskan tundra. The frequency and extent of fire events obtained from paleo, management, and satellite records may yet underestimate the scope of tundra fire impact. Field measurements, collected within the NASA's ABoVE campaign, revealed unexpectedly shallow organic soils ( 15 cm) across all sampled sites of the Noatak valley with no significant difference between recently burned and unburned sites. In typical small and medium-sized tundra burns vegetation recovers rapidly and scars are not discernable in 30 m optical satellite imagery by the end of the first post-fire season. However, field observations indicate that vegetation and subsurface characteristics within fire scars of different ages vary across the landscape. In this study we develop linkages between fire-induced changes to tundra and satellite-based observations from optical, thermal, and microwave imagers to enable extrapolation of in-situ observations to cover the full extent of Alaskan tundra. Our results show that recent ( 30 years) fire history can be reconstructed from optical observations (R2 0.65, pfire history can be determined for 4 years post fire primarily due to increased soil moisture at burned sites. Field measurements suggest that the relatively quick SAR signal dissipation results from more even distribution of surface moisture through the soil column with increases in Active Layer Thickness (ALT). Similar to previous long-term field studies we find an increase in shrub fraction and shrub height within burns over time at the landscape scale; however, the strength and significance of the relationship between shrub fraction and time since fire is governed by burn severity with more severe burns predictably (p post-fire shrub cover. Although reasonably well-correlated to each other when adjusted for topography (R2 0.35, p < 0.001), neither ALT nor soil temperature can be directly linked to optical or thermal brightness observations with acceptable

  10. Trends in Ostracoda and Cladocera distribution and water chemistry in subarctic Canada: Churchill (Manitoba lakes and ponds revisited

    Finn A. Viehberg

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Ponds and lakes distributed across northern treeline in the Hudson Bay Lowlands near Churchill (Manitoba were revisited to analyse and document the local ecoclimatic and limnological changes that occurred over the period 1997-2012. Our analyses revealed that single events may cause significant changes in salinity, pH and silicate content because of the limited buffer capacity of the inter-connected waters. Planktic freshwater microcrustaceans (Cladocera presented less diverse assemblages and appeared to favour waters that are situated in the boreal forest, while the diversity of benthic species assemblages (Cladocera and Ostracoda was highest in waters located closer to the coastline and in open tundra vegetation. We identified three species that are distinctive for the boreal ecozone (i.e., Candona acuta, Can. acutula and Can. decora and two species (i.e., Tonnacypris glacialis and Can. rawsoni that are elements of (sub-arctic landscapes and potentially endangered as the northern treeline expands due to rapid warming. These species are thought to be useful indicators for future ecosystem quality assessments and/or ecosystem service management programs. Our findings were compared to other studies completed in the boreal Yukon Territory and revealed that species diversity is closely linked to landscape history.

  11. Characterization of breeding habitats for black and surf scoters in the eastern boreal forest and subarctic regions of Canada

    Perry, M.C.; Kidwell, D.M.; Wells, A.M.; Lohnes, E.J.R.; Osenton, P.C.; Altmann, S.H.; Hanson, Alan; Kerekes, Joseph; Paquet, Julie

    2006-01-01

    We analyzed characteristics of wetland habitats used by breeding black scoters (Melanitta nigra) and surf scoters (M. perspicillata) in the eastern boreal forest and subarctic regions of Canada based on satellite telemetry data collected in the spring and summer. During 2002 and 2004, nine black scoters (four males, five females) were tracked to breeding areas in Quebec, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. In addition, in 2001?04, seven surf scoters (three males, four females) were tracked to breeding areas in Labrador, Quebec, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Based on satellite telemetry data, locations of black and surf scoters in breeding areas were not significantly different in regard to latitude and longitude. Presumed breeding areas were manually plotted on topographic maps and percent cover type and water were estimated. Breeding habitat of black scoters was significantly different than that for surf scoters, with black scoters mainly using open (tundra) areas (44%) and surf scoters using mainly forest areas (66%). Surf scoters presumed breeding areas were at significantly higher elevations than areas used by black scoters. Some breeding areas were associated with islands, but the role of islands for breeding areas is equivocal. These results aid in the identification of potentially critical breeding areas and provide a baseline classification of breeding habitats used by these two species.

  12. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula.

    Lara, Mark J; McGuire, A David; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; Tweedie, Craig E; Hinkel, Kenneth M; Skurikhin, Alexei N; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-04-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006-2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between -438.3 and -1366 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux at 28.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2 uptake (-166.9 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux (2.8 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)) with geomorphic change from low

  13. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula

    Lara, Mark J.; McGuire, A. David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Skurikhin, Alexei N.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W. Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-01-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006–2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 106gC-CO2 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between −438.3 and −1366 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux at 28.9 106gC-CH4 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 106gC-CH4 day−1), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2uptake (−166.9 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux (2.8 106gC-CH4 day−1) with geomorphic change from

  14. Analysis of anaerobic BTX biodegradation in a subarctic aquifer using isotopes and benzylsuccinates.

    McKelvie, Jennifer R; Lindstrom, Jon E; Beller, Harry R; Richmond, Sharon A; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara

    2005-12-01

    In situ biodegradation of benzene, toluene, and xylenes in a petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated aquifer near Fairbanks, Alaska was assessed using carbon and hydrogen compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of benzene and toluene and analysis of signature metabolites for toluene (benzylsuccinate) and xylenes (methylbenzylsuccinates). Carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios of benzene were between -25.9 per thousand and -26.8 per thousand for delta13C and -119 per thousand and -136 per thousand for delta2H, suggesting that biodegradation of benzene is unlikely at this site. However, biodegradation of both xylenes and toluene were documented in this subarctic aquifer. Biodegradation of xylenes was indicated by the presence of methylbenzylsuccinates with concentrations of 17-50 microg/L in three wells. Anaerobic toluene biodegradation was also indicated by benzylsuccinate concentrations of 10-49 microg/L in the three wells with the highest toluene concentrations (1500-5000 microg/L toluene). Since benzylsuccinate typically accounts for a very small fraction of the toluene present in groundwater (generally data is particularly valuable given the challenge of verifying biodegradation in subarctic environments where degradation rates are typically much slower than in temperate environments.

  15. Selected References on Arctic and Subarctic Prehistory and Ethnology. Revised.

    Fitzhugh, William, Comp.; Loring, Stephen, Comp.

    This bibliography provides an introduction to the current literature, in English, on arctic and subarctic prehistory and ethnology. Leads for further research will be found in section 1. Publications listed are not available from the Smithsonian Institution but copies may be found in larger libraries or obtained through inter-library loan.…

  16. Life-Histories of Sub-Arctic Ants

    Heinze, Jürgen

    1993-01-01

    Ant species belonging to seven genera occur in habitats near the tree line in the Northern Hemisphere. An analysis of colony founding strategies suggests that in addition to physiological cold resistance, behavioral and sociometric adaptations might be important for survival and propagation of ants in subarctic biomes.

  17. Contrasting distributions of dissolved gaseous mercury concentration and evasion in the North Pacific Subarctic Gyre and the Subarctic Front

    Kim, Hyunji; Rhee, Tae Siek; Hahm, Doshik; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Yang, Jisook; Han, Seunghee

    2016-04-01

    The distribution of dissolved gaseous mercury (DGM) and the oxidation-reduction processes of mercury (Hg) in the surface and subsurface ocean are currently understudied despite their importance in ocean-atmosphere interactions. We investigated the Hg(0) evasion and the DGM distribution at water depths of 2-500 m in the Subarctic Front, Western Subarctic Gyre, and Bering Sea of the Northwestern Pacific. The mean DGM concentration in the surface mixed water (evasion flux were significantly higher in the Subarctic Front (125±5.0 fM and 15 pmol m-2 h-1, respectively), which typically has lower nutrient levels and higher primary production, than in the Western Subarctic Gyre and the Bering Sea (74±18 fM and 3.2±1.2 pmol m-2 h-1, respectively). The variation in the chlorophyll-a concentration and extracellular protease activity predicted 54% and 48% of the DGM variation, respectively, in the euphotic zone (2-50 m). The DGM concentration in aphotic intermediate water (415±286 fM) was positively correlated to the apparent oxygen utilization (AOU; r2=0.94 and pevasion is closely linked to primary production in euphotic water and organic remineralization in aphotic intermediate water. The oceanic alterations in these factors may induce significant modification in Hg redox speciation in the Northwestern Pacific.

  18. Tundra a boreální lesy Kanady. 3. Sukcese na pingu a rozhraní les-tundra

    Rusek, Josef

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 3 (2007), s. 121-123 ISSN 0044-4812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : Canadian tundra * boreal forests * succession on a pingo Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  19. Patterned-ground facilitates shrub expansion in Low Arctic tundra

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A; Matyshak, Georgiy; Ermokhina, Ksenia

    2013-01-01

    Recent expansion of tall shrubs in Low Arctic tundra is widely seen as a response to climate warming, but shrubification is not occurring as a simple function of regional climate trends. We show that establishment of tall alder (Alnus) is strongly facilitated by small, widely distributed cryogenic disturbances associated with patterned-ground landscapes. We identified expanding and newly established shrub stands at two northwest Siberian sites and observed that virtually all new shrubs occurred on bare microsites (‘circles’) that were disturbed by frost-heave. Frost-heave associated with circles is a widespread, annual phenomenon that maintains mosaics of mineral seedbeds with warm soils and few competitors that are immediately available to shrubs during favorable climatic periods. Circle facilitation of alder recruitment also plausibly explains the development of shrublands in which alders are regularly spaced. We conclude that alder abundance and extent have increased rapidly in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic since at least the mid-20th century, despite a lack of summer warming in recent decades. Our results are consistent with findings in the North American Arctic which emphasize that the responsiveness of Low Arctic landscapes to climate change is largely determined by the frequency and extent of disturbance processes that create mineral-rich seedbeds favorable for tall shrub recruitment. Northwest Siberia has high potential for continued expansion of tall shrubs and concomitant changes to ecosystem function, due to the widespread distribution of patterned-ground landscapes. (letter)

  20. Arctic Tundra Greening and Browning at Circumpolar and Regional Scales

    Epstein, H. E.; Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Yang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing data have historically been used to assess the dynamics of arctic tundra vegetation. Until recently the scientific literature has largely described the "greening" of the Arctic; from a remote sensing perspective, an increase in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), or a similar satellite-based vegetation index. Vegetation increases have been heterogeneous throughout the Arctic, and were reported to be up to 25% in certain areas over a 30-year timespan. However, more recently, arctic tundra vegetation dynamics have gotten more complex, with observations of more widespread tundra "browning" being reported. We used a combination of remote sensing data, including the Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS), as well as higher spatial resolution Landsat data, to evaluate the spatio-temporal patterns of arctic tundra vegetation dynamics (greening and browning) at circumpolar and regional scales over the past 3-4 decades. At the circumpolar scale, we focus on the spatial heterogeneity (by tundra subzone and continent) of tundra browning over the past 5-15 years, followed by a more recent recovery (greening since 2015). Landsat time series allow us to evaluate the landscape-scale heterogeneity of tundra greening and browning for northern Alaska and the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, Russia. Multi-dataset analyses reveal that tundra greening and browning (i.e. increases or decreases in the NDVI respectively) are generated by different sets of processes. Tundra greening is largely a result of either climate warming, lengthening of the growing season, or responses to disturbances, such as fires, landslides, and freeze-thaw processes. Browning on the other hand tends to be more event-driven, such as the shorter-term decline in vegetation due to fire, insect defoliation, consumption by larger herbivores, or extreme weather events (e.g. winter warming or early summer frost damage). Browning can also be caused by local or

  1. Simulating the effects of soil organic nitrogen and grazing on arctic tundra vegetation dynamics on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    Yu Qin; Epstein, Howard [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States); Walker, Donald [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States)

    2009-10-15

    Sustainability of tundra vegetation under changing climate on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, home to the world's largest area of reindeer husbandry, is of crucial importance to the local native community. An integrated investigation is needed for better understanding of the effects of soils, climate change and grazing on tundra vegetation in the Yamal region. In this study we applied a nutrient-based plant community model-ArcVeg-to evaluate how two factors (soil organic nitrogen (SON) levels and grazing) interact to affect tundra responses to climate warming across a latitudinal climatic gradient on the Yamal Peninsula. Model simulations were driven by field-collected soil data and expected grazing patterns along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), within bioclimate subzones C (high arctic), D (northern low arctic) and E (southern low arctic). Plant biomass and NPP (net primary productivity) were significantly increased with warmer bioclimate subzones, greater soil nutrient levels and temporal climate warming, while they declined with higher grazing frequency. Temporal climate warming of 2 deg. C caused an increase of 665 g m{sup -2} in total biomass at the high SON site in subzone E, but only 298 g m{sup -2} at the low SON site. When grazing frequency was also increased, total biomass increased by only 369 g m{sup -2} at the high SON site in contrast to 184 g m{sup -2} at the low SON site in subzone E. Our results suggest that high SON can support greater plant biomass and plant responses to climate warming, while low SON and grazing may limit plant response to climate change. In addition to the first order factors (SON, bioclimate subzones, grazing and temporal climate warming), interactions among these significantly affect plant biomass and productivity in the arctic tundra and should not be ignored in regional scale studies.

  2. Simulating the effects of soil organic nitrogen and grazing on arctic tundra vegetation dynamics on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    Yu Qin; Epstein, Howard; Walker, Donald

    2009-01-01

    Sustainability of tundra vegetation under changing climate on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, home to the world's largest area of reindeer husbandry, is of crucial importance to the local native community. An integrated investigation is needed for better understanding of the effects of soils, climate change and grazing on tundra vegetation in the Yamal region. In this study we applied a nutrient-based plant community model-ArcVeg-to evaluate how two factors (soil organic nitrogen (SON) levels and grazing) interact to affect tundra responses to climate warming across a latitudinal climatic gradient on the Yamal Peninsula. Model simulations were driven by field-collected soil data and expected grazing patterns along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), within bioclimate subzones C (high arctic), D (northern low arctic) and E (southern low arctic). Plant biomass and NPP (net primary productivity) were significantly increased with warmer bioclimate subzones, greater soil nutrient levels and temporal climate warming, while they declined with higher grazing frequency. Temporal climate warming of 2 deg. C caused an increase of 665 g m -2 in total biomass at the high SON site in subzone E, but only 298 g m -2 at the low SON site. When grazing frequency was also increased, total biomass increased by only 369 g m -2 at the high SON site in contrast to 184 g m -2 at the low SON site in subzone E. Our results suggest that high SON can support greater plant biomass and plant responses to climate warming, while low SON and grazing may limit plant response to climate change. In addition to the first order factors (SON, bioclimate subzones, grazing and temporal climate warming), interactions among these significantly affect plant biomass and productivity in the arctic tundra and should not be ignored in regional scale studies.

  3. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    M. J. Potosnak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Whole-system fluxes of isoprene from a moist acidic tundra ecosystem and leaf-level emission rates of isoprene from a common species (Salix pulchra in that same ecosystem were measured during three separate field campaigns. The field campaigns were conducted during the summers of 2005, 2010 and 2011 and took place at the Toolik Field Station (68.6° N, 149.6° W on the north slope of the Brooks Range in Alaska, USA. The maximum rate of whole-system isoprene flux measured was over 1.2 mg C m−2 h−1 with an air temperature of 22 °C and a PAR level over 1500 μmol m−2 s−1. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates for S. pulchra averaged 12.4 nmol m−2 s−1 (27.4 μg C gdw−1 h−1 extrapolated to standard conditions (PAR = 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 and leaf temperature = 30 °C. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates were well characterized by the Guenther algorithm for temperature with published coefficients, but less so for light. Chamber measurements from a nearby moist acidic tundra ecosystem with little S. pulchra emitted significant amounts of isoprene, but at lower rates (0.45 mg C m−2 h−1 suggesting other significant isoprene emitters. Comparison of our results to predictions from a global model found broad agreement, but a detailed analysis revealed some significant discrepancies. An atmospheric chemistry box model predicts that the observed isoprene emissions have a significant impact on Arctic atmospheric chemistry, including a reduction of hydroxyl radical (OH concentrations. Our results support the prediction that isoprene emissions from Arctic ecosystems will increase with global climate change.

  4. Comparative responses of phenology and reproductive development to simulated environmental change in sub-arctic and high arctic plants

    Wookey, P A; Welker, J M; Callaghan, T V [Inst. of Terrestrial Ecology, Merlewood Research Station, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria (United Kingdom); Parsons, A N; Potter, J A; Lee, J A; Press, M C [Dept. of Environmental Biology, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester (United Kingdom)

    1993-01-01

    The effects of temperature, precipitation and nutrient perturbations, and their interactions, are being assessed on two contrasting arctic ecosystems to simulate impacts of climate change. One, a high arctic polar semi-desert community, is characterized by a sparse, low and aggregated vegetation cover where plant proliferation is by seedlings, whereas the other, a sub-arctic dwarf shrub health, is characterized by a complete, vegetation cover of erect, clonal dwarf shrubs which spread vegetatively. The developmental processes of seed production were shown to be highly sensitive, even within one growing season to specific environmental perturbations which differed between sites. At the polar semi-desert site, there was a striking effect of the temperature enhancement treatments on phenology and seed-setting of Dryas octopetala ssp. octopetala, with almost no seed-setting occurring in plots experiencing ambient temperatures. By contrast, there were no significant effects of temperature enhancement alone on fruit production of Empetrum hermaphroditum at the sub-Arctic dwarf shrub heath site, although fruit production was significantly influenced by the application of nutrients and/or water. The response of dominant high arctic dwarf shrub to increased temperature suggests that any climate warming may stimulate seed-set. This could be particularly important in the high Arctic where colonization can proceed in areas dominated by bare ground and where genetic recombination may be needed to generate tolerance to predicted changes of great magnitude. In the sub-Arctic, however the closed vegetation is dominated by clonally-proliferating species. Plant fitness will increase here in response to any increased vegetative growth resulting from higher nutrient availability in warmer organic soils. (ua) (59 refs.)

  5. Lead poisoning in whooper and tundra swans.

    Nakade, Tetsuya; Tomura, Yoshihiro; Jin, Kazuo; Taniyama, Hiroyuki; Yamamoto, Mutsuki; Kikkawa, Aya; Miyagi, Kunitaro; Uchida, Eiji; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Mukai, Takeshi; Shirasawa, Masahiko; Yamaguchi, Mamoru

    2005-01-01

    Six weak whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) and two weak tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were found at Swamp Miyajima (Hokkaido, Japan) in May 1998. Anorexia, depression, green watery feces, pale conjunctiva, and anemia were observed. Radiographs showed from six to 38 suspected lead pellets in the gizzard. Blood lead concentrations were 2.5-6.7 microg/g (mean+/-SD=4.6+/-1.14 microg/g) on day 1. After blood collection, the birds were treated with calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate (CaEDTA) given intravenously and force fed. Despite treatment, seven birds died the next day. Green, bile-stained livers and pale or green kidneys were observed on necropsy. Microscopically, bile pigment was widespread in the liver and acid-fast intranuclear inclusion bodies were observed in renal tubular epithelium. Lead concentrations in livers and kidneys were 14.0-30.4 microg/g and 30.2-122 microg/g wet weight, respectively. Only one bird survived and this whooper swan continued to be treated with CaEDTA and activated charcoal. No lead shot was observed in the proventriculus and gizzard by radiography on day 64 and the blood lead concentration decreased from 2.9 microg/g to 0.09 microg/g during that same period. After 4 mo of rehabilitation, the whooper swan was returned to the wild. Lead intoxication continues to be a problem at Swamp Miyajima.

  6. Effects of Unsaturated Microtopography on Nitrate Concentrations in Tundra Ecosystems: Examples from Polygonal Terrain and Degraded Peat Plateaus

    Heikoop, J. M.; Arendt, C. A.; Newman, B. D.; Charsley-Groffman, L.; Perkins, G.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    Under the auspices of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment - Arctic, we have been studying hydrogeochemical signals in Alaskan tundra ecosystems underlain by continuous permafrost (Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO)) and discontinuous permafrost (Seward Peninsula). The Barrow site comprises largely saturated tundra associated with the low gradient Arctic Coastal Plain. Polygonal microtopography, however, can result in slightly raised areas that are unsaturated. In these areas we have previously demonstrated production and accumulation of nitrate, which, based on nitrate isotopic analysis, derives from microbial degradation. Our Seward Peninsula site is located in a much steeper and generally well-drained watershed. In lower-gradient areas at the top and bottom of the watershed, however, the tundra is generally saturated, likely because of the presence of underlying discontinuous permafrost inhibiting infiltration. These settings also contain microtopographic features, though in the form of degraded peat plateaus surrounded by wet graminoid sag ponds. Despite being very different microtopographic features in a very different setting with distinct vegetation, qualitatively similar nitrate accumulation patterns as seen in polygonal terrain were observed. The highest nitrate pore water concentration observed in an unsaturated peat plateau was approximately 5 mg/L, whereas subsurface pore water concentrations in surrounding sag ponds were generally below the limit of detection. Nitrate isotopes indicate this nitrate results from microbial mineralization and nitrification based on comparison to the nitrate isotopic composition of reduced nitrogen sources in the environment and the oxygen isotope composition of site pore water. Nitrate concentrations were most similar to those found in low-center polygon rims and flat-centered polygon centers at the BEO, but were significantly lower than the maximum concentrations seen in the highest and driest polygonal features

  7. Changes in tundra pond limnology: re-sampling Alaskan ponds after 40 years.

    Lougheed, Vanessa L; Butler, Malcolm G; McEwen, Daniel C; Hobbie, John E

    2011-09-01

    The arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, AK, were studied extensively in the 1970s; however, very little aquatic research has been conducted there for over three decades. Due to the rapid climate changes already occurring in northern Alaska, identifying any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 30-40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. Current research on the IBP ponds has revealed significant changes in the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of these ponds over time. These changes include increased water temperatures, increased water column nutrient concentrations, the presence of at least one new chironomid species, and increased macrophyte cover. However, we have also observed significant annual variation in many measured variables and caution that this variation must be taken into account when attempting to make statements about longer-term change. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on freshwater ecosystem structure and function. Continued monitoring and protection of these invaluable sites is required to help understand the implications of climate change on freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic.

  8. Linkages Among Climate, Fire, and Thermoerosion in Alaskan Tundra Over the Past Three Millennia

    Chipman, M. L.; Hu, F. S.

    2017-12-01

    Amplified Arctic warming may facilitate novel tundra disturbance regimes, as suggested by recent increases in the rate and extent of thermoerosion and fires in some tundra areas. Thermoerosion and wildfire can exacerbate warming by releasing large permafrost carbon stocks, and interactions between disturbance regimes can lead to complex ecosystem feedbacks. We conducted geochemical and charcoal analyses of lake sediments from an Alaskan lake to identify thermoerosion and fire events over the past 3,000 years. Thermoerosion was inferred from lake sediments in the context of modern soil data from retrogressive thaw slumps (RTS). Magnetic susceptibility (MS), Ca:K, and Ca:Sr increased with depth in modern RTS soils and were higher on recently exposed than older slump surfaces. Peaks in bulk density, % CaCO3, Ca:K, Ca:Sr, and MS values in the sediments suggest at least 18 thermoerosion events in the Loon Lake watershed over the past 3,000 years. Charcoal analysis identifies 22 fires over the same period at this site. Temporal variability in these records suggests climate-driven responses of both thermoerosion and fire disturbance regimes, with fewer RTS episodes and fire events during the Little Ice Age than the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Moreover, RTS activity lagged behind catchment fires by 20-30 years (>90% confidence interval), implying that fires facilitated thermoerosion on decadal time scales, possibly because of prolonged active-layer deepening following fire and postfire proliferation of insulative shrub cover. These results highlight the potential for complex interactions between climate, vegetation, and tundra disturbance in response to ongoing warming.

  9. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    Johansson, Paul Torbjörn; Kiepe, Isabell; Herbst, Mathias

    Russia. The area is situated at 67°N in the European part of northeast Russia within the Pechora basin. The Russian tundra region is an area which has recently been subject to many speculations in relation to climatic change effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange but still little scientific......, and discuss possible implications of climatic change on this lowland tundra ecosystem. This study have been conducted as a part of the CARBO-North project (2006-2010), a project within the EU 6th framework programme, aiming at quantifying the carbon budget in Northern Russia across temporal and spatial scales....

  10. Twenty-Two Years of Warming, Fertilisation and Shading of Subarctic Heath Shrubs Promote Secondary Growth and Plasticity but Not Primary Growth

    Campioli, Matteo; Leblans, Niki; Michelsen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Most manipulation experiments simulating global change in tundra were short-term or did not measure plant growth directly. Here, we assessed the growth of three shrubs (Cassiope tetragona, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Betula nana) at a subarctic heath in Abisko (Northern Sweden) after 22 years of warming (passive greenhouses), fertilisation (nutrients addition) and shading (hessian fabric), and compare this to observations from the first decade of treatment. We assessed the growth rate of current-year leaves and apical stem (primary growth) and cambial growth (secondary growth), and integrated growth rates with morphological measurements and species coverage. Primary- and total growth of Cassiope and Empetrum were unaffected by manipulations, whereas growth was substantially reduced under fertilisation and shading (but not warming) for Betula. Overall, shrub height and length tended to increase under fertilisation and warming, whereas branching increased mostly in shaded Cassiope. Morphological changes were coupled to increased secondary growth under fertilisation. The species coverage showed a remarkable increase in graminoids in fertilised plots. Shrub response to fertilisation was positive in the short-term but changed over time, likely because of an increased competition with graminoids. More erected postures and large, canopies (requiring enhanced secondary growth for stem reinforcement) likely compensated for the increased light competition in Empetrum and Cassiope but did not avoid growth reduction in the shade intolerant Betula. The impact of warming and shading on shrub growth was more conservative. The lack of growth enhancement under warming suggests the absence of long-term acclimation for processes limiting biomass production. The lack of negative effects of shading on Cassiope was linked to morphological changes increasing the photosynthetic surface. Overall, tundra shrubs showed developmental plasticity over the longer term. However, such plasticity

  11. The Contribution of Old Carbon to Respiration from Alaskan Tundra Following Permafrost Thaw

    Schuur, E. A.; Vogel, J. G.; Crummer, K. G.; Lee, H.; Sickman, J. O.; Dutta, K.

    2007-12-01

    More than 450 Pg of soil carbon (C) has accumulated in high latitude ecosystems after the retreat of the last major ice sheets. Recent studies suggest that, due to climate warming, these ecosystems may no longer be accumulating C, and in some cases may be losing stored C to the atmosphere. We used radiocarbon measurements of carbon dioxide to detect the age of C respired from tussock tundra near Denali National Park, Alaska. At this tundra site, permafrost has been observed to warm and thaw over the past several decades, causing the ground surface to subside as ice volume in the soil decreased. We established three sites within this area that differed in vegetation and surface topography; both characteristics varied in relation to the degree of permafrost thaw. We made radiocarbon measurements of ecosystem respiration, incubations of soil organic matter, and incubations of above and belowground plant biomass to determine the age and isotopic value of C respired from these sites. Over the study period from 2004 to 2006, ecosystem respiration radiocarbon values averaged from +35‰ to +95‰ in different months across sites. For soil incubations, surface soil radiocarbon was elevated relative both to ecosystem respiration and the current atmospheric radiocarbon value, demonstrating the significant contribution from C fixed over the past years to several decades. The deeper soil, in contrast, had respiration isotope values that averaged below zero, reflecting the significant effect of radioactive decay on the isotope content of deeper soil layers. The plant and soil incubations were combined in a multi- source mixing model to determine probable contributions from these different sources to ecosystem respiration. Deep soil respiration generally averaged between 5-15% of total ecosystem respiration, but reached as high as 40% in some months. When aggregated across the growing season, the two sites undergoing more disturbance from permafrost thaw had on average 2-3 times

  12. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire

    Michelle C. Mack; M. Syndonia Bret-Harte; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; Randi R. Jandt; Edward A.G. Schuur; Gaius R. Shaver; David L. Verbyla

    2011-01-01

    Arctic tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) in organic soil layers hundreds to thousands of years old that insulate, and in some cases maintain, permafrost soils. Fire has been largely absent from most of this biome since the early Holocene epoch, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The effect of fires on the...

  13. Methanogenesis at low temperatures by microflora of tundra wetland soil.

    Kotsyurbenko, O R; Nozhevnikova, A N; Soloviova, T I; Zavarzin, G A

    1996-01-01

    Active methanogenesis from organic matter contained in soil samples from tundra wetland occurred even at 6 degrees C. Methane was the only end product in balanced microbial community with H2/CO2 as a substrate, besides acetate was produced as an intermediate at temperatures below 10 degrees C. The activity of different microbial groups of methanogenic community in the temperature range of 6-28 degrees C was investigated using 5% of tundra soil as inoculum. Anaerobic microflora of tundra wetland fermented different organic compounds with formation of hydrogen, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and alcohols. Methane was produced at the second step. Homoacetogenic and methanogenic bacteria competed for such substrates as hydrogen, formate, carbon monoxide and methanol. Acetogens out competed methanogens in an excess of substrate and low density of microbial population. Kinetic analysis of the results confirmed the prevalence of hydrogen acetogenesis on methanogenesis. Pure culture of acetogenic bacteria was isolated at 6 degrees C. Dilution of tundra soil and supply with the excess of substrate disbalanced the methanoigenic microbial community. It resulted in accumulation of acetate and other VFA. In balanced microbial community obviously autotrophic methanogens keep hydrogen concentration below a threshold for syntrophic degradation of VFA. Accumulation of acetate- and H2/CO2-utilising methanogens should be very important in methanogenic microbial community operating at low temperatures.

  14. Contrasting above- and belowground organic matter decomposition and carbon and nitrogen dynamics in response to warming in High Arctic tundra.

    Blok, Daan; Faucherre, Samuel; Banyasz, Imre; Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Elberling, Bo

    2017-12-13

    Tundra regions are projected to warm rapidly during the coming decades. The tundra biome holds the largest terrestrial carbon pool, largely contained in frozen permafrost soils. With warming, these permafrost soils may thaw and become available for microbial decomposition, potentially providing a positive feedback to global warming. Warming may directly stimulate microbial metabolism but may also indirectly stimulate organic matter turnover through increased plant productivity by soil priming from root exudates and accelerated litter turnover rates. Here, we assess the impacts of experimental warming on turnover rates of leaf litter, active layer soil and thawed permafrost sediment in two high-arctic tundra heath sites in NE-Greenland, either dominated by evergreen or deciduous shrubs. We incubated shrub leaf litter on the surface of control and warmed plots for 1 and 2 years. Active layer soil was collected from the plots to assess the effects of 8 years of field warming on soil carbon stocks. Finally, we incubated open cores filled with newly thawed permafrost soil for 2 years in the active layer of the same plots. After field incubation, we measured basal respiration rates of recovered thawed permafrost cores in the lab. Warming significantly reduced litter mass loss by 26% after 1 year incubation, but differences in litter mass loss among treatments disappeared after 2 years incubation. Warming also reduced litter nitrogen mineralization and decreased the litter carbon to nitrogen ratio. Active layer soil carbon stocks were reduced 15% by warming, while soil dissolved nitrogen was reduced by half in warmed plots. Warming had a positive legacy effect on carbon turnover rates in thawed permafrost cores, with 10% higher respiration rates measured in cores from warmed plots. These results demonstrate that warming may have contrasting effects on above- and belowground tundra carbon turnover, possibly governed by microbial resource availability. © 2017 John

  15. Tundra uptake of atmospheric elemental mercury drives Arctic mercury pollution.

    Obrist, Daniel; Agnan, Yannick; Jiskra, Martin; Olson, Christine L; Colegrove, Dominique P; Hueber, Jacques; Moore, Christopher W; Sonke, Jeroen E; Helmig, Detlev

    2017-07-12

    Anthropogenic activities have led to large-scale mercury (Hg) pollution in the Arctic. It has been suggested that sea-salt-induced chemical cycling of Hg (through 'atmospheric mercury depletion events', or AMDEs) and wet deposition via precipitation are sources of Hg to the Arctic in its oxidized form (Hg(ii)). However, there is little evidence for the occurrence of AMDEs outside of coastal regions, and their importance to net Hg deposition has been questioned. Furthermore, wet-deposition measurements in the Arctic showed some of the lowest levels of Hg deposition via precipitation worldwide, raising questions as to the sources of high Arctic Hg loading. Here we present a comprehensive Hg-deposition mass-balance study, and show that most of the Hg (about 70%) in the interior Arctic tundra is derived from gaseous elemental Hg (Hg(0)) deposition, with only minor contributions from the deposition of Hg(ii) via precipitation or AMDEs. We find that deposition of Hg(0)-the form ubiquitously present in the global atmosphere-occurs throughout the year, and that it is enhanced in summer through the uptake of Hg(0) by vegetation. Tundra uptake of gaseous Hg(0) leads to high soil Hg concentrations, with Hg masses greatly exceeding the levels found in temperate soils. Our concurrent Hg stable isotope measurements in the atmosphere, snowpack, vegetation and soils support our finding that Hg(0) dominates as a source to the tundra. Hg concentration and stable isotope data from an inland-to-coastal transect show high soil Hg concentrations consistently derived from Hg(0), suggesting that the Arctic tundra might be a globally important Hg sink. We suggest that the high tundra soil Hg concentrations might also explain why Arctic rivers annually transport large amounts of Hg to the Arctic Ocean.

  16. Spatial variation and linkages of soil and vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra - coupling field observations with remote sensing data

    Mikola, Juha; Virtanen, Tarmo; Linkosalmi, Maiju; Vähä, Emmi; Nyman, Johanna; Postanogova, Olga; Räsänen, Aleksi; Kotze, D. Johan; Laurila, Tuomas; Juutinen, Sari; Kondratyev, Vladimir; Aurela, Mika

    2018-05-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems will play a key role in future climate change due to intensifying permafrost thawing, plant growth and ecosystem carbon exchange, but monitoring these changes may be challenging due to the heterogeneity of Arctic landscapes. We examined spatial variation and linkages of soil and plant attributes in a site of Siberian Arctic tundra in Tiksi, northeast Russia, and evaluated possibilities to capture this variation by remote sensing for the benefit of carbon exchange measurements and landscape extrapolation. We distinguished nine land cover types (LCTs) and to characterize them, sampled 92 study plots for plant and soil attributes in 2014. Moreover, to test if variation in plant and soil attributes can be detected using remote sensing, we produced a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and topographical parameters for each study plot using three very high spatial resolution multispectral satellite images. We found that soils ranged from mineral soils in bare soil and lichen tundra LCTs to soils of high percentage of organic matter (OM) in graminoid tundra, bog, dry fen and wet fen. OM content of the top soil was on average 14 g dm-3 in bare soil and lichen tundra and 89 g dm-3 in other LCTs. Total moss biomass varied from 0 to 820 g m-2, total vascular shoot mass from 7 to 112 g m-2 and vascular leaf area index (LAI) from 0.04 to 0.95 among LCTs. In late summer, soil temperatures at 15 cm depth were on average 14 °C in bare soil and lichen tundra, and varied from 5 to 9 °C in other LCTs. On average, depth of the biologically active, unfrozen soil layer doubled from early July to mid-August. When contrasted across study plots, moss biomass was positively associated with soil OM % and OM content and negatively associated with soil temperature, explaining 14-34 % of variation. Vascular shoot mass and LAI were also positively associated with soil OM content, and LAI with active layer depth, but only explained 6-15 % of variation. NDVI

  17. Holocene evolution of lakes in the forest-tundra biome of northern Manitoba, Canada

    Hobbs, William O.; Edlund, Mark B.; Umbanhowar, Charles E.; Camill, Philip; Lynch, Jason A.; Geiss, Christoph; Stefanova, Vania

    2017-03-01

    The late-Quaternary paleoenvironmental history of the western Hudson Bay region of Subarctic Canada is poorly constrained. Here, we present a regional overview of the post-glacial history of eight lakes which span the forest-tundra biome in northern Manitoba. We show that during the penultimate drainage phase of Lake Agassiz the lake water had an estimated pH of ∼6.0, with abundant quillwort (Isöetes spp.) along the lakeshore and littoral zone and some floating green algae (Botryococcus spp. and Pediastrum sp.). Based on multiple sediment proxies, modern lake ontogeny in the region commenced at ∼7500 cal yrs BP. Pioneering diatom communities were shaped by the turbid, higher alkalinity lake waters which were influenced by base cation weathering of the surrounding till following Lake Agassiz drainage. By ∼7000 cal yrs BP, soil development and Picea spp. establish and the lakes began a slow trajectory of acidification over the remaining Holocene epoch. The natural acidification of the lakes in this region is slow, on the order of several millennia for one pH unit. Each of the study lakes exhibit relatively stable aquatic communities during the Holocene Thermal Maximum, suggesting this period is a poor analogue for modern climatic changes. During the Neoglacial, the beginning of the post-Little Ice Age period represents the most significant climatic event to impact the lakes of N. Manitoba. In the context of regional lake histories, the rate of diatom floristic change in the last 200-300 years is unprecedented, with the exception of post-glacial lake ontogeny in some of the lakes. For nearly the entire history of the lakes in this region, there is a strong linkage between landscape development and the aquatic ecosystems; however this relationship appears to become decoupled or less strong in the post-LIA period. Significant 20th century changes in the aquatic ecosystem cannot be explained wholly by changes in the terrestrial ecosystem, suggesting that future

  18. Photosynthetic response of Eriophorum vaginatum to in situ shrub shading in tussock tundra of northern Alaska

    Anderson-Smith, A.; Pattison, R.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Eriophorum vaginatum (Cotton Grass) is an important component of moist acidic tussock tundra, a plant community that appears to be undergoing changes in species composition associated with climate warming. This species is one of the most abundant in the arctic tundra, and provides important forage for caribou in their calving grounds on the Arctic Coastal Plain and along their migratory route through the foothills of Alaska. Recently, remote sensing data, repeat photography and plot-level measurements have indicated that shrub abundance is increasing while Eriophorum abundance is either constant or decreasing. One possible explanation for the reduction of Eriophorum while Betula nana is increasing, is that lower light levels in the taller Betula canopy may be constraining Eriophorum photosynthesis and subsequently reducing plant growth. This study measured the effect of shading on the light response of Eriphorum leaf photosynthesis in four different sites near Toolik Lake Alaska during the summer of 2009. Measurements were taken in: 1) a shrub patch within the drift zone of the ITEX long term snow fence experiment, 2) an LTER shade house (50% shading) built in 1989, 3) water track site 1 and water track site 2 (i.e. control areas with no experimental manipulations) Average photosynthetic rates for Eriophorum at a light level of 800 PAR varied from 3.8 to 10.9 umol m-2 s-1 and were not significantly different in shaded and unshaded areas. This study indicates that shading by shrubs does not appear to be altering the light response of Eriophorum nor does long-term shading by itself eliminate Eriophorum from the community. An alternative explanation for the decline of Eriophorum while Betula increases in abundance under changing climates may be related to plant and soil mineral nutrition, plant water relations or biotic processes involving herbivores.

  19. Different parts, different stories: climate sensitivity of growth is stronger in root collars vs. stems in tundra shrubs.

    Ropars, Pascale; Angers-Blondin, Sandra; Gagnon, Marianne; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2017-08-01

    Shrub densification has been widely reported across the circumpolar arctic and subarctic biomes in recent years. Long-term analyses based on dendrochronological techniques applied to shrubs have linked this phenomenon to climate change. However, the multi-stemmed structure of shrubs makes them difficult to sample and therefore leads to non-uniform sampling protocols among shrub ecologists, who will favor either root collars or stems to conduct dendrochronological analyses. Through a comparative study of the use of root collars and stems of Betula glandulosa, a common North American shrub species, we evaluated the relative sensitivity of each plant part to climate variables and assessed whether this sensitivity is consistent across three different types of environments in northwestern Québec, Canada (terrace, hilltop and snowbed). We found that root collars had greater sensitivity to climate than stems and that these differences were maintained across the three types of environments. Growth at the root collar was best explained by spring precipitation and summer temperature, whereas stem growth showed weak and inconsistent responses to climate variables. Moreover, sensitivity to climate was not consistent among plant parts, as individuals having climate-sensitive root collars did not tend to have climate-sensitive stems. These differences in sensitivity of shrub parts to climate highlight the complexity of resource allocation in multi-stemmed plants. Whereas stem initiation and growth are driven by microenvironmental variables such as light availability and competition, root collars integrate the growth of all plant parts instead, rendering them less affected by mechanisms such as competition and more responsive to signals of global change. Although further investigations are required to determine the degree to which these findings are generalizable across the tundra biome, our results indicate that consistency and caution in the choice of plant parts are a key

  20. Diversification of Nitrogen Sources in Various Tundra Vegetation Types in the High Arctic.

    Grzegorz Skrzypek

    Full Text Available Low nitrogen availability in the high Arctic represents a major constraint for plant growth, which limits the tundra capacity for carbon retention and determines tundra vegetation types. The limited terrestrial nitrogen (N pool in the tundra is augmented significantly by nesting seabirds, such as the planktivorous Little Auk (Alle alle. Therefore, N delivered by these birds may significantly influence the N cycling in the tundra locally and the carbon budget more globally. Moreover, should these birds experience substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, this will adversely influence the tundra N-budget. Hence, assessment of bird-originated N-input to the tundra is important for understanding biological cycles in polar regions. This study analyzed the stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources in the High Arctic and in numerous plants that access different N-pools in ten tundra vegetation types in an experimental catchment in Hornsund (Svalbard. The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by birds, ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by atmospheric N2-fixation. The stable nitrogen isotope mixing mass balance, in contrast to direct methods that measure actual deposition, indicates the ratio between the actual N-loads acquired by plants from different N-sources. Our results enhance our understanding of the importance of different N-sources in the Arctic tundra and the used methodological approach can be applied elsewhere.

  1. Changes in Nutrients and Primary Production in Barrow Tundra Ponds Over the Past 40 Years

    Lougheed, V.; Andresen, C.; Hernandez, C.; Miller, N.; Reyes, F.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, Alaska were studied extensively in the 1970's; however, very little research has occurred there since that time. Due to the sensitivity of this region to climate warming, understanding any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. The goal of this study was to determine if the structure and function of primary producers had changed through time, and the association between these changes, urban encroachment and nutrient limitation. Nutrient levels, as well as the biomass of aquatic graminoids (Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva), phytoplankton and periphyton were determined in the IBP tundra ponds in both 1971-3 and 2010-12, and in 2010-11 from nearby ponds along an anthropogenic disturbance gradient. Uptake of 14C was also used to measure algal primary production in both time periods and nutrient addition experiments were performed to identify the nutrients limiting algal growth. Similar methods were utilized in the past and present studies. Overall, biomass of graminoids, phytoplankton and periphyton was greater in 2010-12 than that observed in the 1970s. This increased biomass was coincident with warmer water temperatures, increased water column nutrients and deeper active layer depth. Biomass of plants and algae was highest in the ponds closest to the village of Barrow, but no effect of urban encroachment was observed at the IBP ponds. Laboratory incubations indicated that nutrient release from thawing permafrost can explain part of these increases in nutrients and has likely contributed to changes in the primary limiting nutrient. Further studies are necessary to better understand the implications of these trends in primary production to nutrient budgets in the Arctic. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on

  2. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  3. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils.

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  4. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic...... variables and local shrub dominance. We found that establishment of shrub ramets was positively related to summer precipitation, which implies that the current high dominance of B. nana at our study site could be related to high summer precipitation in the period from 1960 to 1990. The results confirmed...... that early summer temperature is most influential to annual growth rates of B. nana. In addition, summer precipitation stimulated shrub growth in years with warm summers, suggesting that B. nana growth may be co-limited by summer moisture supply. The dual controlling role of temperature and summer...

  5. Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools: Arctic and Subarctic Climates

    2004-11-01

    The Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools--Arctic and Subarctic Climates provides school boards, administrators, and design staff with guidance to help them make informed decisions about energy and environmental issues important to school systems and communities. These design guidelines outline high performance principles for the new or retrofit design of your K-12 school in arctic and subarctic climates. By incorporating energy improvements into their construction or renovation plans, schools can significantly reduce energy consumption and costs.

  6. Microbial Iron Oxidation in the Arctic Tundra and Its Implications for Biogeochemical Cycling

    Scott, Jarrod J.; Benes, Joshua; Bowden, William B.

    2015-01-01

    The role that neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria play in the Arctic tundra is unknown. This study surveyed chemosynthetic iron-oxidizing communities at the North Slope of Alaska near Toolik Field Station (TFS) at Toolik Lake (lat 68.63, long −149.60). Microbial iron mats were common in submerged habitats with stationary or slowly flowing water, and their greatest areal extent is in coating plant stems and sediments in wet sedge meadows. Some Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) produce easily recognized sheath or stalk morphotypes that were present and dominant in all the mats we observed. The cool water temperatures (9 to 11°C) and reduced pH (5.0 to 6.6) at all sites kinetically favor microbial iron oxidation. A microbial survey of five sites based on 16S rRNA genes found a predominance of Proteobacteria, with Betaproteobacteria and members of the family Comamonadaceae being the most prevalent operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In relative abundance, clades of lithotrophic FeOB composed 5 to 10% of the communities. OTUs related to cyanobacteria and chloroplasts accounted for 3 to 25% of the communities. Oxygen profiles showed evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis at the surface of some mats, indicating the coexistence of photosynthetic and FeOB populations. The relative abundance of OTUs belonging to putative Fe-reducing bacteria (FeRB) averaged around 11% in the sampled iron mats. Mats incubated anaerobically with 10 mM acetate rapidly initiated Fe reduction, indicating that active iron cycling is likely. The prevalence of iron mats on the tundra might impact the carbon cycle through lithoautotrophic chemosynthesis, anaerobic respiration of organic carbon coupled to iron reduction, and the suppression of methanogenesis, and it potentially influences phosphorus dynamics through the adsorption of phosphorus to iron oxides. PMID:26386054

  7. Fluxes of Methane and Carbon Dioxide from a Subarctic Lake

    Jammet, Mathilde Manon

    ) and carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere. Yet uncertainties in the magnitude and drivers of these fluxes remain, partly due to a lack of direct observations covering all seasons of the year, but also because of the diversity in measurement methods that often miss components of the transport processes......Ongoing climate warming is expected to affect the carbon functioning of subarctic ecosystems. Lakes and wetlands, which are common ecosystems of the high northern latitudes, are of utmost interest in this context because they exchange large amounts of the climate-forcing gases methane (CH4......-out and the release of CH4 and CO2 was established. These results underline the crucial importance of shoulder seasons in the annual carbon emissions from seasonally frozen lakes. Overall, the lake was an important annual source of carbon to the atmosphere, partially compensating the higher, annual sink function...

  8. Recent dynamics of arctic and sub-arctic vegetation

    Epstein, Howard E; Myers-Smith, Isla; Walker, Donald A

    2013-01-01

    We present a focus issue of Environmental Research Letters on the ‘Recent dynamics of arctic and sub-arctic vegetation’. The focus issue includes three perspective articles (Verbyla 2011 Environ. Res. Lett. 6 041003, Williams et al 2011 Environ. Res. Lett. 6 041004, Loranty and Goetz 2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 011005) and 22 research articles. The focus issue arose as a result of heightened interest in the response of high-latitude vegetation to natural and anthropogenic changes in climate and disturbance regimes, and the consequences that these vegetation changes might have for northern ecosystems. A special session at the December 2010 American Geophysical Union Meeting on the ‘Greening of the Arctic’ spurred the call for papers. Many of the resulting articles stem from intensive research efforts stimulated by International Polar Year projects and the growing acknowledgment of ongoing climate change impacts in northern terrestrial ecosystems. (synthesis and review)

  9. Stratospheric ozone depletion: high arctic tundra plant species from Svalbard are not affected by enhanced UV-B after 7 years of UV-B supplementation in the field.

    Rozema, J.; Boelen, P.; Blokker, P.; Callaghan, T.V.; Solheim, B.; Zielke, M.

    2006-01-01

    The response of tundra plants to enhanced UV-B radiation simulating 15 and 30% ozone depletion was studied at two high arctic sites (Isdammen and Adventdalen, 78° N, Svalbard).The set-up of the UV-B supplementation systems is described, consisting of large and small UV lamp arrays, installed in 1996

  10. Hydrology of two slopes in subarctic Yukon, Canada

    Carey, Sean K.; Woo, Ming-Ko

    1999-11-01

    Two subarctic forested slopes in central Wolf Creek basin, Yukon, were studied in 1996-1997 to determine the seasonal pattern of the hydrologic processes. A south-facing slope has a dense aspen forest on silty soils with seasonal frost only and a north-facing slope has open stands of black spruce and an organic layer on top of clay sediments with permafrost. Snowmelt is advanced by approximately one month on the south-facing slope due to greater radiation receipt. Meltwater infiltrates its seasonally frozen soil with low ice content, recharging the soil moisture reservoir but yielding no lateral surface or subsurface flow. Summer evaporation depletes this recharged moisture and any additional rainfall input, at the expense of surface or subsurface flow. The north-facing slope with an ice rich substrate hinders deep percolation. Snow meltwater is impounded within the organic layer to produce surface runoff in rills and gullies, and subsurface flow along pipes and within the matrix of the organic soil. During the summer, most subsurface flows are confined to the organic layer which has hydraulic conductivities orders of magnitudes larger than the underlying boulder-clay. Evaporation on the north-facing slope declines as both the frost table and the water table descend in the summer. A water balance of the two slopes demonstrates that vertical processes of infiltration and evaporation dominate moisture exchanges on the south-facing slope, whereas the retardation of deep drainage by frost and by clayey soil on the permafrost slope promotes a strong lateral flow component, principally within the organic layer. These results have the important implication that permafrost slopes and organic horizons are the principal controls on streamflow generation in subarctic catchments.

  11. Alaska North Slope Tundra Travel Model and Validation Study

    Harry R. Bader; Jacynthe Guimond

    2006-03-01

    The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Mining, Land, and Water manages cross-country travel, typically associated with hydrocarbon exploration and development, on Alaska's arctic North Slope. This project is intended to provide natural resource managers with objective, quantitative data to assist decision making regarding opening of the tundra to cross-country travel. DNR designed standardized, controlled field trials, with baseline data, to investigate the relationships present between winter exploration vehicle treatments and the independent variables of ground hardness, snow depth, and snow slab thickness, as they relate to the dependent variables of active layer depth, soil moisture, and photosynthetically active radiation (a proxy for plant disturbance). Changes in the dependent variables were used as indicators of tundra disturbance. Two main tundra community types were studied: Coastal Plain (wet graminoid/moist sedge shrub) and Foothills (tussock). DNR constructed four models to address physical soil properties: two models for each main community type, one predicting change in depth of active layer and a second predicting change in soil moisture. DNR also investigated the limited potential management utility in using soil temperature, the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) absorbed by plants, and changes in microphotography as tools for the identification of disturbance in the field. DNR operated under the assumption that changes in the abiotic factors of active layer depth and soil moisture drive alteration in tundra vegetation structure and composition. Statistically significant differences in depth of active layer, soil moisture at a 15 cm depth, soil temperature at a 15 cm depth, and the absorption of photosynthetically active radiation were found among treatment cells and among treatment types. The models were unable to thoroughly investigate the interacting role between snow depth and disturbance due to a

  12. Detection of tundra trail damage near Barrow, Alaska using remote imagery

    Hinkel, K. M.; Eisner, W. R.; Kim, C. J.

    2017-09-01

    In the past several decades, the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) has proliferated in many Arctic communities in North America. One example is the village of Barrow, Alaska. This coastal community has only local roads, so all access to the interior utilizes off-road machines. These 4-wheel vehicles are the primary means of tundra traverse and transport in summer by hunters and berry-pickers, and by village residents accessing summer camps. Traveling cross-country is difficult due to the large number of thermokarst lakes, wetlands, and streams, and tundra trails tend to follow dryer higher ground while avoiding areas of high microrelief such as high-centered ice-wedge polygons. Thus, modern ATV trails tend to follow the margins of drained or partially drained thermokarst lake basins where it is flat and relatively dry, and these trails are heavily used. The deeply-ribbed tires of the heavy and powerful ATVs cause damage by destroying the vegetation and disturbing the underlying organic soil. Exposure of the dark soil enhances summer thaw and leads to local thermokarst of the ice-rich upper permafrost. The damage increases over time as vehicles continue to follow the same track, and sections eventually become unusable; this is especially true where the trail crosses ice-wedge troughs. Deep subsidence in the ponded troughs results in ATV users veering to avoid the wettest area, which leads to a widening of the damaged area. Helicopter surveys, site visits, and collection of ground penetrating radar data were combined with time series analysis of high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery for the period 1955-2014. The analysis reveals that there are 507 km of off-road trails on the Barrow Peninsula. About 50% of the total trail length was developed before 1955 in association with resource extraction, and an additional 40% were formed between 1979 and 2005 by ATVs. Segments of the more modern trail are up to 100 m wide. Damage to the tundra is especially pronounced

  13. Complex Population Structure of Lyme Borreliosis Group Spirochete Borrelia garinii in Subarctic Eurasia

    Comstedt, Pär; Asokliene, Loreta; Eliasson, Ingvar; Olsen, Björn; Wallensten, Anders; Bunikis, Jonas; Bergström, Sven

    2009-01-01

    Borrelia garinii, a causative agent of Lyme borreliosis in Europe and Asia, is naturally maintained in marine and terrestrial enzootic cycles, which primarily involve birds, including seabirds and migratory passerines. These bird groups associate with, correspondingly, Ixodes uriae and Ixodes ricinus ticks, of which the latter species may bite and transmit the infection to humans. Studies of the overlap between these two natural cycles of B. garinii have been limited, in part due to the absence of representative collections of this spirochete's samples, as well as of the lack of reliable measure of the genetic heterogeneity of its strains. As a prerequisite for understanding the epidemiological correlates of the complex maintenance of B. garinii, the present study sought to assess the diversity and phylogenetic relationships of this species' strains from its natural hosts and patients with Lyme borreliosis from subarctic Eurasia. We used sequence typing of the partial rrs-rrl intergenic spacer (IGS) of archived and prospective samples of B. garinii from I. uriae ticks collected predominantly on Commander Islands in North Pacific, as well as on the islands in northern Sweden and arctic Norway. We also typed B. garinii samples from patients with Lyme borreliosis and I. ricinus ticks infesting migratory birds in southern Sweden, or found questing in selected sites on the islands in the Baltic Sea and Lithuania. Fifty-two (68%) of 77 B. garinii samples representing wide geographical range and associated with I. ricinus and infection of humans contributed 12 (60%) of total 20 identified IGS variants. In contrast, the remaining 25 (32%) samples recovered from I. uriae ticks from a few islands accounted for as many as 10 (50%) IGS types, suggesting greater local diversity of B. garinii maintained by seabirds and their ticks. Two IGS variants of the spirochete in common for both tick species were found in I. ricinus larvae from migratory birds, an indication that B

  14. The exchange of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere at the Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia

    Kutzbach, L.

    2006-07-01

    The ecosystem-scale exchange fluxes of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the micrometeorological eddy covariance method. The investigation site was the centre of the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia characterised by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The measurements were performed on the surface of a Holocene river terrace characterised by wet polygonal tundra. The soils at the site are characterised by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. The fluctuations of the H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} concentrations were measured with a closed-path infrared gas analyser. The fast-response eddy covariance measurements were supplemented by a set of slow-response meteorological and soil-meteorological measurements. The combined datasets of the two campaigns 2003 and 2004 were used to characterise the seasonal course of the energy, water and CO{sub 2} fluxes and the underlying processes for the synthetic measurement period May 28..October 21 2004/2003 including the period of snow and soil thawing as well as the beginning of refreezing. The synthetic measurement period 2004/2003 was characterised by a long snow ablation period and a late start of the growing season. On the other hand, the growing season ended also late due to high temperatures and snow-free conditions in September. The cumulative summer energy partitioning was characterised by low net radiation, large ground heat flux, low latent heat flux and very low sensible heat flux compared to other tundra sites. These findings point out the major importance of the very cold permafrost for the summer energy budget of the tundra in Northern Siberia. (orig./SR)

  15. Trends in NDVI and tundra community composition in the Arctic of NE Alaska between 1984 and 2009

    Robert R. Pattison; Janet C. Jorgenson; Martha K. Raynolds; Jeffery M. Welker

    2015-01-01

    As Arctic ecosystems experience increases in surface air temperatures, plot-level analyses of tundra vegetation composition suggest that there are important changes occurring in tundra communities that are typified by increases in shrubs and declines in non-vascular species. At the same time analyses of NDVI indicate that the Arctic tundra is greening. Few studies have...

  16. Modeling a two-layer flow system at the subarctic, subalpine tree line during snowmelt

    Leenders, Erica E.; Woo, Ming-Ko

    2002-10-01

    In the subarctic it is common to encounter a two-layer flow system consisting of a porous organic cover overlying frozen or unfrozen mineral soils with much lower hydraulic conductivities. The "simple lumped reservoir parametric," or "semidistributed land-use-based runoff processes" (SLURP), model was adapted to simulate runoff generated by such a flow system from an upland shrub land to an open woodland downslope. A subalpine site in Wolf Creek, Yukon, Canada, was subdivided into two aggregated simulation areas (ASA), each being a unit characterized by a set of parameters. The model computes the vertical water balance and flow generation from several storages, and then routes the water out of the ASA. When applied to the 1999 snowmelt season, the model simulated the very low lateral flow and a large increase in storage in the mineral soil, as was observed in the field. The model was used to assess the sensitivity of the two-layer flow system under a range of temperature, snow cover, and frost conditions. Results show that within the range of possible climatic conditions, the hydrologic system is unlikely to yield significant runoff across the subalpine tree line, but if ground ice is abundant in the soil pores, percolation will be limited and fast flow from the surface layer is enhanced.

  17. UAV Remote Sensing Surveillance of a Mine Tailings Impoundment in Sub-Arctic Conditions

    Anssi Rauhala

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Mining typically involves extensive areas where environmental monitoring is spatially sporadic. New remote sensing techniques and platforms such as Structure from Motion (SfM and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs may offer one solution for more comprehensive and spatially continuous measurements. We conducted UAV campaigns in three consecutive summers (2015–2017 at a sub-Arctic mining site where production was temporarily suspended. The aim was to monitor a 0.5 km2 tailings impoundment and measure potential subsidence of tailings. SfM photogrammetry was used to produce yearly topographical models of the tailings surface, which allowed the amount of surface displacement between years to be tracked. Ground checkpoints surveyed in stable areas of the impoundment were utilized in assessing the vertical accuracy of the models. Observed surface displacements were linked to a combination of erosion, tailings settlement, and possible compaction of the peat layer underlying the tailings. The accuracy obtained indicated that UAV-assisted monitoring of tailings impoundments is sufficiently accurate for supporting impoundment management operations and for tracking surface displacements in the decimeter range.

  18. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; Huissteden, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2, 3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed

  19. Shrubs in the cold : interactions between vegetation, permafrost and climate in Siberian tundra

    Blok, D.

    2011-01-01

    The Arctic is experiencing strong increases in air temperature during the last decades. High-latitude tundra regions are very responsive to changes in temperature and may cause a shift in tundra vegetation composition towards greater dominance of deciduous shrubs. With increasing deciduous shrub

  20. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem into methane source

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; van Huissteden, J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly,

  1. Dynamics of aboveground phytomass of the circumpolar Arctic tundra during the past three decades

    Epstein, Howard E; Raynolds, Martha K; Walker, Donald A; Bhatt, Uma S; Tucker, Compton J; Pinzon, Jorge E

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982–2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C–E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field. (letter)

  2. Plot-scale evidence of tundra vegetation change and links to recent summer warming

    Sarah C. Elmendorf; Gregory H.R. Henry; Robert D. Hollister; Robert G. Bjork; Noemie Boulanger-Lapointe; Elisabeth J. Cooper; Johannes H.C. Cornelissen; Thomas A. Day; Ellen Dorrepaal; Tatiana G. Elumeeva; Mike Gill; William A. Gould; John Harte; David S. Hik; Annika Hofgaard; David R. Johnson; Jill F. Johnstone; Ingijorg Svala Jonsdottir; Janet C. Jorgenson; Kari Klanderud; Julia A. Klein; Saewan Koh; Gaku Kudo; Mark Lara; Esther Levesque; Borgthor Magnusson; Jeremy L. May; Joel A. Mercado; Anders Michelsen; Ulf Molau; Isla H. Myers-Smith; Steven F. Oberbauer; Vladimir G. Onipchenko; Christian Rixen; Niels Martin Schmidt; Gaius R. Shaver; Marko J. Spasojevic; Pora Ellen Porhallsdottir; Anne Tolvanen; Tiffany Troxler; Craig E. Tweedie; Sandra Villareal; Carl-Henrik Wahren; Xanthe Walker; Patrick J. Webber; Jeffrey M. Welker; Sonja Wipf

    2012-01-01

    Temperature is increasing at unprecedented rates across most of the tundra biome1. Remote-sensing data indicate that contemporary climate warming has already resulted in increased productivity over much of the Arctic2,3, but plot-based evidence for vegetation transformation is not widespread. We analysed change in tundra vegetation surveyed between 1980 and 2010 in 158...

  3. Forest dynamics in a forest-tundra ecotone, Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming

    Christopher J. Earle

    1993-01-01

    The alpine timberline in much of western North America is characterized by a structurally complex transition from subalpine forest to alpine tundra, the forest-tundra ecotone. Trees within the ecotone are typically arrayed across the landscape within clumps or "ribbon forests," elongated strips oriented perpendicular to the prevailing winds. This study...

  4. Dynamics of Aboveground Phytomass of the Circumpolar Arctic Tundra During the Past Three Decades

    Epstein, Howard E.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Walker, Donald A.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982-2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C-E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field.

  5. Increased plant productivity in Alaskan tundra as a result of experimental warming of soil and permafrost

    S.M. Natali; E.A.G. Schuur; R.L. Rubin

    2012-01-01

    The response of northern tundra plant communities to warming temperatures is of critical concern because permafrost ecosystems play a key role in global carbon (C) storage, and climate-induced ecological shifts in the plant community will affect the transfer of carbon-dioxide between biological and atmospheric pools. This study, which focuses on the response of tundra...

  6. Airborne Spectral Measurements of Surface-Atmosphere Anisotropy for Arctic Sea Ice and Tundra

    Arnold, G. Thomas; Tsay, Si-Chee; King, Michael D.; Li, Jason Y.; Soulen, Peter F.

    1999-01-01

    Angular distributions of spectral reflectance for four common arctic surfaces: snow-covered sea ice, melt-season sea ice, snow-covered tundra, and tundra shortly after snowmelt were measured using an aircraft based, high angular resolution (1-degree) multispectral radiometer. Results indicate bidirectional reflectance is higher for snow-covered sea ice than melt-season sea ice at all wavelengths between 0.47 and 2.3 pm, with the difference increasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance of snow-covered tundra is higher than for snow-free tundra for measurements less than 1.64 pm, with the difference decreasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance patterns of all measured surfaces show maximum reflectance in the forward scattering direction of the principal plane, with identifiable specular reflection for the melt-season sea ice and snow-free tundra cases. The snow-free tundra had the most significant backscatter, and the melt-season sea ice the least. For sea ice, bidirectional reflectance changes due to snowmelt were more significant than differences among the different types of melt-season sea ice. Also the spectral-hemispherical (plane) albedo of each measured arctic surface was computed. Comparing measured nadir reflectance to albedo for sea ice and snow-covered tundra shows albedo underestimated 5-40%, with the largest bias at wavelengths beyond 1 pm. For snow-free tundra, nadir reflectance underestimates plane albedo by about 30-50%.

  7. Fire behavior, weather, and burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River tundra fire, North Slope, Alaska

    Benjamin M. Jones; Crystal A. Kolden; Randi Jandt; John T. Abatzoglu; Frank Urban; Christopher D. Arp

    2009-01-01

    In 2007, the Anaktuvuk River Fire (ARF) became the largest recorded tundra fire on the North Slope of Alaska. The ARF burned for nearly three months, consuming more than 100,000 ha. At its peak in early September, the ARF burned at a rate of 7000 ha d-1. The conditions potentially responsible for this large tundra fire include modeled record high...

  8. Tundra permafrost thaw causes significant shifts in energy partitioning

    Christian Stiegler

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost, a key component of the arctic and global climate system, is highly sensitive to climate change. Observed and ongoing permafrost degradation influences arctic hydrology, ecology and biogeochemistry, and models predict that rapid warming is expected to significantly reduce near-surface permafrost and seasonally frozen ground during the 21st century. These changes raise concern of how permafrost thaw affects the exchange of water and energy with the atmosphere. However, associated impacts of permafrost thaw on the surface energy balance and possible feedbacks on the climate system are largely unknown. In this study, we show that in northern subarctic Sweden, permafrost thaw and related degradation of peat plateaus significantly change the surface energy balance of three peatland complexes by enhancing latent heat flux and, to less degree, also ground heat flux at the cost of sensible heat flux. This effect is valid at all radiation levels but more pronounced at higher radiation levels. The observed differences in flux partitioning mainly result from the strong coupling between soil moisture availability, vegetation composition, albedo and surface structure. Our results suggest that ongoing and predicted permafrost degradation in northern subarctic Sweden ultimately result in changes in land–atmosphere coupling due to changes in the partitioning between latent and sensible heat fluxes. This in turn has crucial implications for how predictive climate models for the Arctic are further developed.

  9. Monitoring the numbers and productivity of Tundra Swans in relation to potential natural gas development in the Mackenzie River Delta, western Canadian Arctic, 2001-2003

    Swystun, H.A. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada); Hines, J.E. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Dawson, R.D. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada)

    2005-03-01

    A study was conducted in which tundra swans were used as an indicator species to monitor the environmental change and effects of oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Delta. The objectives were to monitor consistent study plots for tundra swans at development and non development sites and to document nesting success and brood survival. Environmental protection and maintenance of harvestable populations of wildlife are part of land claim agreement for two Aboriginal groups with settled land claims in the Mackenzie Delta. This study also evaluated the possible factors such as habitat and climate, which limit the reproductive success of tundra swans. Their nesting biology was examined along with how they use their habitat. Researchers established 48 plots near exploratory well sites, existing camps, sites of recent seismic exploration and gas fields of known importance. Air surveillance was used to count and observe the swans on a yearly basis, along with their nests and offspring. Plots were located both where development is proposed and where development is not likely to occur. The important spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas were identified along with spring migration patterns, behaviour and feeding areas. The 3 proposed drilling sites include Niglingtak (Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary), Taglu, and Parsons Lake. The concerns regarding future development in tundra swan habitat include: (1) areas where drilling and pipeline structures are built may prompt swans to move away from their traditional nesting and feeding areas, (2) human activity will increase due to gas drilling and pipeline construction, which may reduce nesting success, (3) wastes associated with construction sites may attract predators and increase predation on nesting birds, (4) increased air traffic would disturb geese and swan hunting areas, and (5) waterfowl habitat could be lost if spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas are not considered when planning

  10. Seasonal patterns in soil N availability in the arctic tundra in response to accelerated snowmelt and warming

    Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Steltzer, H.; Sullivan, P.; Melle, C.; Segal, A.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large stocks of carbon (C) and may act as a significant CO2 source in response to climate warming. However, nitrogen (N) availability limits both plant growth and decomposition in many Arctic sites, and may thus be a key constraint on climate-carbon feedbacks. While current models of tundra ecosystems and their responses to climate change assume that N limits plant growth and C limits decomposition, there is strong evidence to the contrary showing that N can also limit decomposition. For example, the production of both new microbial biomass and enzymes that degrade organic matter appear to be limited by N during the summer. N availability is strongly seasonal: we have previously observed relatively high availability early in the growing season followed by a pronounced crash in tussock tundra soils. To investigate the drivers of N availability throughout the season, we used a field manipulation of tussock tundra growing season length (~4 days acceleration of snowmelt) and air temperature (open top chambers) and a laboratory soil N addition in both early and late season. Nutrient availability throughout the field season was measured at high temporal resolution (25 measurements from soil thaw through early plant senescence). Results from a laboratory experiment in which N was added to early season and late season soils suggests that soil respiration is in fact N limited at both times of the season, though this limitation is temperature dependent with effects most pronounced at 10°C. High-resolution measurements of nutrients in the soil solution and extractable N throughout the season showed that although a nutrient crash in N can be observed mid-season, N availability can still fluctuate later in the season. Finally, effects of the extended growing season and increased air temperature have so far had few effects on soil nutrient N dynamics throughout the summer growing season, suggesting either an insensitivity of N availability to these

  11. Digital Necrobacillosis in Norwegian Wild Tundra Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus)

    Handeland, K.; Boye, Mette; Bergsjø, B.

    2010-01-01

    Outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are described. The outbreaks occurred in late summer and autumn 2007 and 2008, subsequent to periods with an unusually high number of days with precipitation and high air temperature. Lesions were....... necrophorum was cultured from the foot lesions of six animals. Five of these isolates were examined by 16S rRNA sequencing. The sequences were identical and differed from all other strains listed in GenBank. These results are consistent with circulation of a reindeer-adapted pathogenic strain of F....... necrophorum in the wild reindeer population, causing outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis following warm and humid summers....

  12. Permafrost Thaw increases Emissions of Nitrous Oxide from Subarctic Peatlands

    Voigt, C.; Marushchak, M. E.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Jackowicz-Korczynski, M.; Lindgren, A.; Mastepanov, M.; Christensen, T. R.; Granlund, L.; Tahvanainen, T.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost soils in the Arctic are thawing, exposing not only carbon but also large nitrogen stocks. The decomposition of this vast pool of long-term immobile C and N stocks results in the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Among these, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are being studied extensively, and gaseous C release from thawing permafrost is known to be substantial. Most recent studies, however, show that Arctic soils may further be a relevant source of the strong greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). As N2O is almost 300 times more powerful in warming the climate than CO2 based on a 100-yr time horizon, the release of N2O from thawing permafrost could create a significant non-carbon permafrost-climate feedback. To study the effect of permafrost thaw on N2O fluxes, we collected peat mesocosms from a Subarctic permafrost peatland, and subjected these intact soil-plant systems to sequential thawing from the top of the active layer down to the upper permafrost layer. Measurements of N2O fluxes were coupled with detailed soil analyses and process studies. Since N2O fluxes are highly dependent on moisture conditions and vegetation cover, we applied two distinct moisture treatments (dry vs. wet) and simulated permafrost thaw in vegetated as well as in naturally bare mesocosms. Under dry conditions, permafrost thaw clearly increased N2O emissions. We observed the largest post-thaw emissions from bare peat surfaces, a typical landform in subarctic peatlands previously identified as hot spots for Arctic N2O emissions. There, permafrost thaw caused a five-fold increase in emissions (0.56 vs. 2.81 mg N2O m-2 d-1). While water-logged conditions suppressed N2O emissions, the presence of vegetation lowered, but did not prevent post-thaw N2O release. Based on these findings, we show that one fourth of the Arctic land area could be vulnerable for N2O emissions when permafrost thaws. Our results demonstrate that Arctic N2O emissions may be larger than

  13. Elemental composition and optical properties reveal changes in dissolved organic matter along a permafrost thaw chronosequence in a subarctic peatland

    Hodgkins, Suzanne; Tfaily, Malak M.; Podgorski, David C.; McCalley, Carmody; Saleska, Scott; Crill, Patrick M.; Rich, Virginia; Chanton, Jeffrey; Cooper, William T.

    2016-08-01

    The fate of carbon stored in permafrost-zone peatlands represents a significant uncertainty in global climate modeling. Given that the breakdown of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is often a major pathway for decomposition in peatlands, knowledge of DOM reactivity under different permafrost regimes is critical for determining future climate feedbacks. To explore the effects of permafrost thaw and resultant plant succession on DOM reactivity, we used a combination of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), UV/Vis absorbance, and excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMS) to examine the DOM elemental composition and optical properties of 27 pore water samples gathered from various sites along a permafrost thaw sequence in Stordalen Mire, a thawing subarctic peatland in northern Sweden. The presence of dense Sphagnum moss, a feature that is dominant in the intermediate thaw stages, appeared to be the main driver of variation in DOM elemental composition and optical properties at Stordalen. Specifically, DOM from sites with Sphagnum had greater aromaticity, higher average molecular weights, and greater O/C, consistent with a higher abundance of phenolic compounds that likely inhibit decomposition. These compounds are released by Sphagnum and may accumulate due to inhibition of phenol oxidase activity by the acidic pH at these sites. In contrast, sites without Sphagnum, specifically fully-thawed rich fens, had more saturated, more reduced compounds, which were high in N and S. Optical properties at rich fens were indicated the presence of microbially-derived DOM, consistent with the higher decomposition rates previously measured at these sites. These results indicate that Sphagnum acts as an inhibitor of rapid decomposition and CH4 release in thawing subarctic peatlands, consistent with lower rates of CO2 and CH4 production previously observed at these sites. However, this inhibitory effect may disappear if Sphagnumdominated bogs

  14. Elemental composition and optical properties reveal changes in dissolved organic matter along a permafrost thaw chronosequence in a subarctic peatland

    Hodgkins, Suzanne B.; Tfaily, Malak M.; Podgorski, David C.; McCalley, Carmody K.; Saleska, Scott R.; Crill, Patrick M.; Rich, Virginia I.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Cooper, William T.

    2016-08-01

    The fate of carbon stored in permafrost-zone peatlands represents a significant uncertainty in global climate modeling. Given that the breakdown of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is often a major pathway for decomposition in peatlands, knowledge of DOM reactivity under different permafrost regimes is critical for determining future climate feedbacks. To explore the effects of permafrost thaw and resultant plant succession on DOM reactivity, we used a combination of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), UV/Vis absorbance, and excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMS) to examine the DOM elemental composition and optical properties of 27 pore water samples gathered from various sites along a permafrost thaw sequence in Stordalen Mire, a thawing subarctic peatland in northern Sweden. The presence of dense Sphagnum moss, a feature that is dominant in the intermediate thaw stages, appeared to be the main driver of variation in DOM elemental composition and optical properties at Stordalen. Specifically, DOM from sites with Sphagnum had greater aromaticity, higher average molecular weights, and greater O/C, consistent with a higher abundance of phenolic compounds that likely inhibit decomposition. These compounds are released by Sphagnum and may accumulate due to inhibition of phenol oxidase activity by the acidic pH at these sites. In contrast, sites without Sphagnum, specifically fully-thawed rich fens, had more saturated, more reduced compounds, which were high in N and S. Optical properties at rich fens indicated the presence of microbially-derived DOM, consistent with the higher decomposition rates previously measured at these sites. These results indicate that Sphagnum acts as an inhibitor of rapid decomposition and CH4 release in thawing subarctic peatlands, consistent with lower rates of CO2 and CH4 production previously observed at these sites. However, this inhibitory effect may disappear if Sphagnum-dominated bogs

  15. Uncertainty assessment of a polygon database of soil organic carbon for greenhouse gas reporting in Canada’s Arctic and sub-arctic

    M.F. Hossain

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Canada’s Arctic and sub-arctic consist 46% of Canada’s landmass and contain 45% of the total soil organic carbon (SOC. Pronounced climate warming and increasing human disturbances could induce the release of this SOC to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. Canada is committed to estimating and reporting the greenhouse gases emissions and removals induced by land use change in the Arctic and sub-arctic. To assess the uncertainty of the estimate, we compiled a site-measured SOC database for Canada’s north, and used it to compare with a polygon database, that will be used for estimating SOC for the UNFCCC reporting. In 10 polygons where 3 or more measured sites were well located in each polygon, the site-averaged SOC content agreed with the polygon data within ±33% for the top 30 cm and within ±50% for the top 1 m soil. If we directly compared the SOC of the 382 measured sites with the polygon mean SOC, there was poor agreement: The relative error was less than 50% at 40% of the sites, and less than 100% at 68% of the sites. The relative errors were more than 400% at 10% of the sites. These comparisons indicate that the polygon database is too coarse to represent the SOC conditions for individual sites. The difference is close to the uncertainty range for reporting. The spatial database could be improved by relating site and polygon SOC data with more easily observable surface features that can be identified and derived from remote sensing imagery.

  16. Ecosystem partitioning of 15N-glycine after long-term climate and nutrient manipulations, plant clipping and addition of labile carbon in a subarctic heath tundra

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2008-01-01

    of nitrogen (N). Here, we studied 15N label incorporation into microbes, plants and soil N pools after both long-term (12 years) climate manipulation and nutrient addition, plant clipping and a pulse-addition of labile C to the soil, in order to gain information on interactions among soil N and C pools...... addition. However, plants exerted control on the soil inorganic N concentrations and recovery of total dissolved 15N (TD15N), and likewise the microbes reduced these soil pools, but only when fed with labile C. Soil microbes in clipped plots were primarily C limited, and the findings of reduced N...... availability, both in the presence of plants and with the combined treatment of plant clipping and addition of sugar, suggest that the plant control of soil N pools was not solely due to plant uptake of soil N, but also partially caused by plants feeding labile C to the soil microbes, which enhanced...

  17. Tundra swan habitat preferences during migration in North Dakota

    Earnst, Susan L.

    1994-01-01

    I studied tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) habitat preference in North Dakota during autumn migration, 1988-89. Many thousand tundra swans stop in the Prairie Pothole region during autumn migration, but swan resource use has not been quantified. I examined habitat preference in relation to an index of sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) presence, extent of open water, and wetland size. I compared habitat preference derived from counts of all swans to those derived from foraging swans only and cygnets only. Foraging swans preferred wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.03); the number of foraging swans per wetland was >4 times higher on wetlands with sago pondweed than on wetlands without sago. In contrast, nonforaging swans did not prefer wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.85) but preferred large wetlands (P = 0.02) and those with a high proportion of contiguous open water (P feeding than adults (P = 0.03) and occurred proportionately more often in smaller flocks (P = 0.04), but cygnets and adults had similar habitat preferences.

  18. UDASH – Unified Database for Arctic and Subarctic Hydrography

    A. Behrendt

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available UDASH (Unified Database for Arctic and Subarctic Hydrography is a unified and high-quality temperature and salinity data set for the Arctic Ocean and the subpolar seas north of 65° N for the period 1980–2015. The archive aims at including all publicly available data and so far consists of 288 532 oceanographic profiles measured mainly with conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD probes, bottles, mechanical thermographs and expendable thermographs. The data were collected by ships, ice-tethered profilers, profiling floats and other platforms. To achieve a uniform quality level, suitable for a wide range of oceanographic analyses, approximately 74 million single measurements of temperature and salinity were thoroughly quality checked. A large number of duplicate and erroneous profiles were detected and not included in the archive. Data outliers were flagged for quick identification. The final archive provides a unique and simple way of accessing most of the available temperature and salinity data for the Arctic Ocean and can be downloaded from https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.872931.

  19. Radioecology of tritiated water in subarctic soils and vegetation

    Salonen, L.; Miettinen, J.K.

    1982-01-01

    The residence times of tritium in various types of soils and plants have been determined in southern and northern Finland. The experiments were conducted in forest and agricultural environments where tritiated water was applied to the soil surface in the form of a single fall of rain. After that the movement and loss of tritiated water from the unsaturated zone was followed over a 2-4-year period in some forest areas. Uptake and loss of tritium in the tissue-free water and organic compounds of some native plants was studied in each area. The results indicated that in the subarctic area the half-residence times of tritium in soils and plants were greatly dependent on the climatic conditions at the time of the labelling and during the short growing seasons and also on the rate of water movement in the soil. In the experiments started during the best growing season the half-residence times in soil and plants do not differ from those determined in more temperate latitudes. (author)

  20. Can antibrowsing defense regulate the spread of woody vegetation in arctic tundra?

    Bryant, John P.; Joly, Kyle; Chapin, F. Stuart; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Kielland, Knut

    2014-01-01

    Global climate warming is projected to promote the increase of woody plants, especially shrubs, in arctic tundra. Many factors may affect the extent of this increase, including browsing by mammals. We hypothesize that across the Arctic the effect of browsing will vary because of regional variation in antibrowsing chemical defense. Using birch (Betula) as a case study, we propose that browsing is unlikely to retard birch expansion in the region extending eastward from the Lena River in central Siberia across Beringia and the continental tundra of central and eastern Canada where the more effectively defended resin birches predominate. Browsing is more likely to retard birch expansion in tundra west of the Lena to Fennoscandia, Iceland, Greenland and South Baffin Island where the less effectively defended non-resin birches predominate. Evidence from the literature supports this hypothesis. We further suggest that the effect of warming on the supply of plant-available nitrogen will not significantly change either this pan-Arctic pattern of variation in antibrowsing defense or the resultant effect that browsing has on birch expansion in tundra. However, within central and east Beringia warming-caused increases in plant-available nitrogen combined with wildfire could initiate amplifying feedback loops that could accelerate shrubification of tundra by the more effectively defended resin birches. This accelerated shrubification of tundra by resin birch, if extensive, could reduce the food supply of caribou causing population declines. We conclude with a brief discussion of modeling methods that show promise in projecting invasion of tundra by woody plants.

  1. Lagrangian study of transport of subarctic water across the Subpolar Front in the Japan Sea

    Prants, Sergey V.; Uleysky, Michael Yu.; Budyansky, Maxim V.

    2018-05-01

    The southward near-surface transport of transformed subarctic water across the Subpolar Front in the Japan Sea is simulated and analyzed based on altimeter data from January 1, 1993 to December 31, 2017. Computing Lagrangian indicators for a large number of synthetic particles, advected by the AVISO velocity field, we find preferred transport pathways across the Subpolar Front. The southward transport occurs mainly in the central part of the frontal zone due to suitable dispositions of mesoscale eddies promoting propagation of subarctic water to the south. It is documented with the help of Lagrangian origin and L-maps and verified by the tracks of available drifters. The transport of transformed subarctic water to the south is compared with the transport of transformed subtropical water to the north simulated by Prants et al. (Nonlinear Process Geophys 24(1):89-99, 2017c).

  2. Improving understanding of controls on spatial variability in methane fluxes in Arctic tundra

    Davidson, Scott J.; Sloan, Victoria; Phoenix, Gareth; Wagner, Robert; Oechel, Walter; Zona, Donatella

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic is experiencing rapid climate change relative to the rest of the globe, and this increase in temperature has feedback effects across hydrological and thermal regimes, plant community distribution and carbon stocks within tundra soils. Arctic wetlands account for a significant amount of methane emissions from natural ecosystems to the atmosphere and with further permafrost degradation under a warming climate, these emissions are expected to increase. Methane (CH4) is an extremely important component of the global carbon cycle with a global warming potential 28.5 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100 year time scale (IPCC, 2013). In order to validate carbon cycle models, modelling methane at broader landscape scales is needed. To date direct measurements of methane have been sporadic in time and space which, while capturing some key controls on the spatial heterogeneity, make it difficult to accurately upscale methane emissions to the landscape and regional scales. This study investigates what is controlling the spatial heterogeneity of methane fluxes across Arctic tundra. We combined over 300 portable chamber observations from 13 micro-topographic positions (with multiple vegetation types) across three locations spanning a 300km latitudinal gradient in Northern Alaska from Barrow to Ivotuk with synchronous measurements of environmental (soil temperature, soil moisture, water table, active layer thaw depth, pH) and vegetation (plant community composition, height, sedge tiller counts) variables to evaluate key controls on methane fluxes. To assess the diurnal variation in CH4 fluxes, we also performed automated chamber measurements in one study site (Barrow) location. Multiple statistical approaches (regression tree and multiple linear regression) were used to identify key controlling variables and their interactions. Methane emissions across all sites ranged from -0.08 to 15.3 mg C-CH4 m-2 hr-1. As expected, soil moisture was the main control

  3. Net carbon exchange across the Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in Alaska 1981-2000

    Thompson, Catharine Copass; McGuire, A.D.; Clein, Joy S.; Chapin, F. S.; Beringer, J.

    2006-01-01

    Shifts in the carbon balance of high-latitude ecosystems could result from differential responses of vegetation and soil processes to changing moisture and temperature regimes and to a lengthening of the growing season. Although shrub expansion and northward movement of treeline should increase carbon inputs, the effects of these vegetation changes on net carbon exchange have not been evaluated. We selected low shrub, tall shrub, and forest tundra sites near treeline in northwestern Alaska, representing the major structural transitions expected in response to warming. In these sites, we measured aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and vegetation and soil carbon and nitrogen pools, and used these data to parameterize the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model. We simulated the response of carbon balance components to air temperature and precipitation trends during 1981-2000. In areas experiencing warmer and dryer conditions, Net Primary Production (NPP) decreased and heterotrophic respiration (R H ) increased, leading to a decrease in Net Ecosystem Production (NEP). In warmer and wetter conditions NPP increased, but the response was exceeded by an increase in R H ; therefore, NEP also decreased. Lastly, in colder and wetter regions, the increase in NPP exceeded a small decline in R H , leading to an increase in NEP. The net effect for the region was a slight gain in ecosystem carbon storage over the 20 year period. This research highlights the potential importance of spatial variability in ecosystem responses to climate change in assessing the response of carbon storage in northern Alaska over the last two decades. ?? Springer 2005.

  4. Spatial variation and linkages of soil and vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra – coupling field observations with remote sensing data

    J. Mikola

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Arctic tundra ecosystems will play a key role in future climate change due to intensifying permafrost thawing, plant growth and ecosystem carbon exchange, but monitoring these changes may be challenging due to the heterogeneity of Arctic landscapes. We examined spatial variation and linkages of soil and plant attributes in a site of Siberian Arctic tundra in Tiksi, northeast Russia, and evaluated possibilities to capture this variation by remote sensing for the benefit of carbon exchange measurements and landscape extrapolation. We distinguished nine land cover types (LCTs and to characterize them, sampled 92 study plots for plant and soil attributes in 2014. Moreover, to test if variation in plant and soil attributes can be detected using remote sensing, we produced a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI and topographical parameters for each study plot using three very high spatial resolution multispectral satellite images. We found that soils ranged from mineral soils in bare soil and lichen tundra LCTs to soils of high percentage of organic matter (OM in graminoid tundra, bog, dry fen and wet fen. OM content of the top soil was on average 14 g dm−3 in bare soil and lichen tundra and 89 g dm−3 in other LCTs. Total moss biomass varied from 0 to 820 g m−2, total vascular shoot mass from 7 to 112 g m−2 and vascular leaf area index (LAI from 0.04 to 0.95 among LCTs. In late summer, soil temperatures at 15 cm depth were on average 14 °C in bare soil and lichen tundra, and varied from 5 to 9 °C in other LCTs. On average, depth of the biologically active, unfrozen soil layer doubled from early July to mid-August. When contrasted across study plots, moss biomass was positively associated with soil OM % and OM content and negatively associated with soil temperature, explaining 14–34 % of variation. Vascular shoot mass and LAI were also positively associated with soil OM content, and LAI with active layer

  5. Consequences of artic ground squirrels on soil carbon loss from Siberian tundra

    Golden, N. A.; Natali, S.; Zimov, N.

    2014-12-01

    A large pool of organic carbon (C) has been accumulating in the Arctic for thousands of years. Much of this C has been frozen in permafrost and unavailable for microbial decomposition. As the climate warms and permafrost thaws, the fate of this large C pool will be driven not only by climatic conditions, but also by ecosystem changes brought about by arctic animal populations. In this project we studied arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii), which are widely-distributed throughout the Arctic. These social mammals create subterranean burrows that mix soil layers, increase aeration, alter soil moisture and temperature, and redistribute soil nutrients, all of which may impact microbial decomposition. We examined the effects of arctic ground squirrel activity on soil C mineralization in dry heath tundra underlain by continuous permafrost in the Kolyma River watershed in northeast Siberia, Russia. Vegetation cover was greatly reduced on the ground squirrel burrows (80% of ground un-vegetated), compared to undisturbed sites (35% of ground un-vegetated). Soils from ground squirrel burrows were also significantly dryer and warmer. To examine effects of ground squirrel activity on microbial respiration, we conducted an 8-day incubation of soil fromburrows and from adjacent undisturbed tundra. In addition, we assessed the impact of nutrient addition by including treatments with low and high levels of nitrogen addition. Microbial respiration (per gram soil) was three-fold higher in incubated soils from the undisturbed sites compared to soils collected from the burrows. The lower rates of respiration from the disturbed soils may have been a result of lower carbon quality or low soil moisture. High nitrogen addition significantly increased respiration in the undisturbed soils, but not in the disturbed burrow soils, which suggests that microbial respiration in the burrow soils was not primarily limited by nitrogen. These results demonstrate the importance of wildlife

  6. Growth, development, and nutritional physiology of grasshoppers from subarctic and temperate regions.

    Fielding, Dennis J; Defoliart, Linda S

    2007-01-01

    Despite the importance of developmental rate, growth rate, and size at maturity in the life history of poikliotherms, the trade-offs among these traits and selection pressures involved in the evolution of these traits are not well understood. This study compared these traits in a grasshopper, Melanoplus sanguinipes F. (Orthoptera: Acrididae), from two contrasting geographical regions, subarctic Alaska and temperate Idaho. The growing season in the interior of Alaska is about 80 d shorter than at low-elevation sites in Idaho. We hypothesized that the Alaskan grasshoppers would show more rapid growth and development than grasshoppers from Idaho, at the cost of greater sensitivity to food quality. On a diet of lettuce and wheat bran, grasshoppers from Alaska developed from egg hatch to adult more rapidly than those from Idaho at each of three different temperature regimes. Averaged over all temperature treatments, the weight of the Alaskan grasshoppers was about 5% less than that of the Idaho grasshoppers at the adult molt. Feeding and digestive efficiencies were determined for the final two instars using two meridic diets: one with a high concentration of nutrients and the other with the same formulation but diluted with cellulose. Alaskan grasshoppers again developed more rapidly, weighed less, and had faster growth rates than those from Idaho. Alaskan grasshoppers supported their more rapid growth by increasing postingestive efficiencies; that is, they had higher conversion rates of digested matter to biomass on the high-quality diet, greater assimilation of food on the low-quality diet, and greater efficiency of nitrogen assimilation or retention on both diets. There was no evidence that performance of Alaskan grasshoppers suffered any more than that of the Idaho grasshoppers on the low-quality diet.

  7. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. Annual progress report

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1975-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, has been undertaken to determine the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. A sampling technique was developed on Amchitka Island to allow the rapid acquisition of data on species presence and frequency across areas disturbed at various times and in various ways. Attempts were made to sample across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure. The data were analyzed and we concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Amchitka tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. The study led to recommendations which resulted in a smaller effort than planned to reclaim damaged areas by seeding and fertilizing at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscape, whether for energy production, or military or other reasons, we are expanding our sampling to other tundra areas. Immediate plans include sampling at Adak Island and Barrow, Alaska. (U.S.)

  8. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. Annual progress report

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1976-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, continues to document the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra landscapes. A measurement technique was developed on Amchitka Island to allow the rapid acquisition of data on species presence and frequency across areas disturbed at various times and in various ways. Samples across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure are taken. Studies now include Adak Island and the Point Barrow area. We have concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Aleutian tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. Our study led to recommendations which resulted in less intensive reclamation management at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscapes, for energy extraction, transportation or production, military or other reasons, we have expanded our sampling to other tundra areas where landscape disruption is occurring or is predicted.

  9. Tundra biome research in Alaska: the structure and function of cold-dominated ecosystems

    Brown, J.; West, G.C.

    1970-11-01

    The objective of the Tundra Biome Program is to acquire a basic understanding of tundra, both alpine and arctic, and taiga. Collectively these are referred to as the cold-dominated ecosystems. The program's broad objectives are threefold: To develop a predictive understanding of how the wet arctic tundra ecosystem operates, particularly as exemplified in the Barrow, Alaska, area; to obtain the necessary data base from the variety of cold-dominated ecosystem types represented in the United States, so that their behavior can be modeled and simulated, and the results compared with similar studies underway in other circumpolar countries; to bring basic environmental knowledge to bear on problems of degradation, maintenance, and restoration of the temperature-sensitive and cold-dominated tundra/taiga ecosystems. (GRA)

  10. The Russian-Swedish tundra radioecology expedition 1994

    Persson, B.R.; Holm, E.; Carlsson, K.Aa.; Josefsson, D.; Roos, P.

    1995-01-01

    The expedition investigated the ecology of the anthropogenic radio nuclides 137 Cs, 90 Sr, and 239,240 Pu in the Northern Sea to explain the origin from different sources. It had been shown from an earlier expedition that the levels of 137 Cs are higher in the central Arctic Ocean than further south in Barents Sea. The question was if this was due to inflow from the Atlantic or is due to other origin. The expedition also examined the outflow of 90 Sr from the rivers along the Siberian coast in order to investigate if the permafrost enhances the run-off of radionuclides from tundra. Study of anthropogenic radionuclides in the mixing zone between fresh and salt water at the different river systems along the Siberian coast was of particular interest. Some of the results from the expedition are presented in the present paper. 3 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  11. Greenhouse gas emissions related to landscape elements in the subarctic environment at Churchill, Manitoba

    Churchill, J.; Tenuta, M.; Bello, R.; Papakyriakou, T.

    2006-01-01

    The relationship between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, landscape elements and major environmental regulators was studied. The hydrologic regimes of the Hudson Bay Lowlands are expected to change along with the extent of permafrost and composition of vegetation due to increased levels of GHGs associated with global warming. Two transects were created at a Polygonized-Peat Plateau (PPP) and a Spruce Forest (SF) site in 2005. A sub-set on 4 dominant landscape elements of each transect were used to estimate emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), and nitric oxide (N 2 O) on a weekly basis from June to August. In order to obtain a good sampling representation of environmental conditions and of the gradients in plant communities, the entire transect at PPP was sampled monthly. In order to examine the role of soil conditions on the production and consumption of GHG leading to surface fluxes, soil gas samplers were installed at 2 depths at both sites. N 2 O production and consumption were found to be inconsequential at both sites. However, high methane emissions were observed when the volumetric moisture content (VMC) rose higher than 80 per cent at the edge of the ponds. Methane consumption was found to be related to low VMC values (20-40 per cent) for the tops of peat polygons. Soil atmosphere concentrations for CO 2 and CH 4 at PPP were typically much higher at depths of 23-32 cm compared to depths of 5-9 cm. Some of the wettest landscape elements had very high CH 4 content, but had no corresponding CH 4 flux from the soil surface, suggesting that the gas was consumed under aerobic conditions at the soil surface. It was concluded that GHG emissions from both sites were altered by both landscape elements and environmental regulators such as temperature and moisture. Future work will focus on identifying the association of these relationships to processes responsible for GHG emissions in subarctic environments. The impact of global warming on these

  12. The Bering Land Bridge: a moisture barrier to the dispersal of steppe-tundra biota?

    Elias, Scott A.; Crocker, Barnaby

    2008-12-01

    The Bering Land Bridge (BLB) connected the two principal arctic biological refugia, Western and Eastern Beringia, during intervals of lowered sea level in the Pleistocene. Fossil evidence from lowland BLB organic deposits dating to the Last Glaciation indicates that this broad region was dominated by shrub tundra vegetation, and had a mesic climate. The dominant ecosystem in Western Beringia and the interior regions of Eastern Beringia was steppe-tundra, with herbaceous plant communities and arid climate. Although Western and Eastern Beringia shared many species in common during the Late Pleistocene, there were a number of species that were restricted to only one side of the BLB. Among the vertebrate fauna, the woolly rhinoceros was found only to the west of the BLB, North American camels, bonnet-horned musk-oxen and some horse species were found only to the east of the land bridge. These were all steppe-tundra inhabitants, adapted to grazing. The same phenomenon can be seen in the insect faunas of the Western and Eastern Beringia. The steppe-tundra beetle fauna of Western Beringia was dominated by weevils of the genus Stephanocleonus, a group that was virtually absent from Eastern Beringia. The dry-adapted weevils, Lepidophorus lineaticollis and Vitavitus thulius were important members of steppe-tundra communities in Eastern Beringia, but were either absent or rare in Western Beringia. The leaf beetles Chrysolina arctica, C. brunnicornis bermani, and Galeruca interrupta circumdata were typical members of the Pleistocene steppe-tundra communities of Western Beringia, but absent from Eastern Beringia. On the other hand, some steppe tundra-adapted leaf beetles managed to occupy both sides of the BLB, such as Phaedon armoraciae. Much of the BLB remains unstudied, but on biogeographic grounds, it appears that there was some kind of biological filter that blocked the movements of some steppe-tundra plants and animals across the BLB.

  13. Tillage and straw management affect PM10 emission potential in subarctic Alaska

    Emission of PM10 (particulates =10 um in diameter regulated by many nations as an air pollutant) from agricultural soils can impact regional air quality. Little information exists that describes the potential for PM10 and airborne dust emissions from subarctic soils or agricultural soils subject to ...

  14. Youth Environmental Science Outreach in the Mushkegowuk Territory of Subarctic Ontario, Canada

    Karagatzides, Jim D.; Kozlovic, Daniel R.; De Iuliis, Gerry; Liberda, Eric N.; General, Zachariah; Liedtke, Jeff; McCarthy, Daniel D.; Gomez, Natalya; Metatawabin, Daniel; Tsuji, Leonard J. S.

    2011-01-01

    We connected youth of the Mushkegowuk Territory (specifically Fort Albany First Nation) with environmental science and technology mentors in an outreach program contextualized to subarctic Ontario that addressed some of the environmental concerns identified by members of Fort Albany First Nation. Most activities were community-based centering on…

  15. Wind-driven circulation in the subarctic north Pacific using altimeter ...

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    of the wind stress curl are also related to the variation of the subarctic gyre. Though the correlation .... mum in spring, accounting for 41% of all the vari- ance. This estimate ..... plays an important role as a western boundary and it is also located ...

  16. Moisture effects on temperature sensitivity of CO2 exchange in a subarctic heath ecosystem

    Illeris, Lotte; Christensen, TR; Mastepanov, M

    2004-01-01

    Carbon fluxes between natural ecosystems and the atmosphere have received increased attention in recent years due to the impact they have on climate. In order to investigate independently how soil moisture and temperature control carbon fluxes into and out of a dry subarctic dwarf shrub dominated...

  17. Molecular analyses reveal high species diversity of trematodes in a sub-Arctic lake

    Soldánová, Miroslava; Georgieva, Simona; Roháčováa, Jana; Knudsen, Rune; Kuhn, Jesper A.; Henriksen, Eirik H.; Siwertsson, Anna; Shaw, Jenny C.; Kuris, Armand M.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Scholz, Tomáš; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kostadinova, Aneta

    2017-01-01

    To identify trematode diversity and life-cycles in the sub-Arctic Lake Takvatn, Norway, we characterised 120 trematode isolates from mollusc first intermediate hosts, metacercariae from second intermediate host fishes and invertebrates, and adults from fish and invertebrate definitive hosts, using molecular techniques. Phylogenies based on nuclear and/or mtDNA revealed high species richness (24 species or species-level genetic lineages), and uncovered trematode diversity (16 putative new species) from five families typical in lake ecosystems (Allocreadiidae, Diplostomidae, Plagiorchiidae, Schistosomatidae and Strigeidae). Sampling potential invertebrate hosts allowed matching of sequence data for different stages, thus achieving molecular elucidation of trematode life-cycles and exploration of host-parasite interactions. Phylogenetic analyses also helped identify three major mollusc intermediate hosts (Radix balthica, Pisidium casertanum and Sphaerium sp.) in the lake. Our findings increase the known trematode diversity at the sub-Arctic Lake Takvatn, showing that digenean diversity is high in this otherwise depauperate sub-Arctic freshwater ecosystem, and indicating that sub-Arctic and Arctic ecosystems may be characterised by unique trematode assemblages.

  18. NDVI as a predictor of canopy arthropod biomass in the Alaskan arctic tundra.

    Sweet, Shannan K; Asmus, Ashley; Rich, Matthew E; Wingfield, John; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-04-01

    The physical and biological responses to rapid arctic warming are proving acute, and as such, there is a need to monitor, understand, and predict ecological responses over large spatial and temporal scales. The use of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) acquired from airborne and satellite sensors addresses this need, as it is widely used as a tool for detecting and quantifying spatial and temporal dynamics of tundra vegetation cover, productivity, and phenology. Such extensive use of the NDVI to quantify vegetation characteristics suggests that it may be similarly applied to characterizing primary and secondary consumer communities. Here, we develop empirical models to predict canopy arthropod biomass with canopy-level measurements of the NDVI both across and within distinct tundra vegetation communities over four growing seasons in the Arctic Foothills region of the Brooks Range, Alaska, USA. When canopy arthropod biomass is predicted with the NDVI across all four growing seasons, our overall model that includes all four vegetation communities explains 63% of the variance in canopy arthropod biomass, whereas our models specific to each of the four vegetation communities explain 74% (moist tussock tundra), 82% (erect shrub tundra), 84% (riparian shrub tundra), and 87% (dwarf shrub tundra) of the observed variation in canopy arthropod biomass. Our field-based study suggests that measurements of the NDVI made from air- and spaceborne sensors may be able to quantify spatial and temporal variation in canopy arthropod biomass at landscape to regional scales.

  19. Spaceborne potential for examining taiga-tundra ecotone form and vulnerability

    Montesano, Paul M.; Sun, Guoqing; Dubayah, Ralph O.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2016-07-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), site-dependent forest structure characteristics can influence the subtle and heterogeneous structural changes that occur across the broad circumpolar extent. Such changes may be related to ecotone form, described by the horizontal and vertical patterns of forest structure (e.g., tree cover, density, and height) within TTE forest patches, driven by local site conditions, and linked to ecotone dynamics. The unique circumstance of subtle, variable, and widespread vegetation change warrants the application of spaceborne data including high-resolution (ecotone form. We demonstrate the potential of spaceborne data for integrating forest height and density to assess TTE form at the scale of forest patches across the circumpolar biome by (1) mapping forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with a multi-resolution suite of spaceborne data and (2) examining the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of data across sites of primarily diffuse TTE forms. Results demonstrate the opportunities for improving patch-scale spaceborne estimates of forest height, the vertical component of TTE form, with HRSI. The distribution of relative maximum height uncertainty based on prediction intervals is centered at ˜ 40 %, constraining the use of height for discerning differences in forest patches. We discuss this uncertainty in light of a conceptual model of general ecotone forms and highlight how the uncertainty of spaceborne estimates of height can contribute to the uncertainty in identifying TTE forms. A focus on reducing the uncertainty of height estimates in forest patches may improve depiction of TTE form, which may help explain variable forest responses in the TTE to climate change and the vulnerability of portions of the TTE to forest structure change.

  20. Spaceborne Potential for Examining Taiga-Tundra Ecotone Form and Vulnerability

    Montesano, Paul M.; Sun, Guoqing; Dubayah, Ralph O.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2016-01-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), site-dependent forest structure characteristics can influence the subtle and heterogeneous structural changes that occur across the broad circumpolar extent. Such changes may be related to ecotone form, described by the horizontal and vertical patterns of forest structure (e.g., tree cover, density and height) within TTE forest patches, driven by local site conditions, and linked to ecotone dynamics. The unique circumstance of subtle, variable and widespread vegetation change warrants the application of spaceborne data including high-resolution (less than 5m) spaceborne imagery (HRSI) across broad scales for examining TTE form and predicting dynamics. This study analyzes forest structure at the patch-scale in the TTE to provide a means to examine both vertical and horizontal components of ecotone form. We demonstrate the potential of spaceborne data for integrating forest height and density to assess TTE form at the scale of forest patches across the circumpolar biome by (1) mapping forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with a multi-resolution suite of spaceborne data, and (2) examining the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of data across sites of primarily diffuse TTE forms. Results demonstrate the opportunities for improving patch-scale spaceborne estimates of forest height, the vertical component of TTE form, with HRSI. The distribution of relative maximum height uncertainty based on prediction intervals is centered at approximately 40%, constraining the use of height for discerning differences in forest patches. We discuss this uncertainty in light of a conceptual model of general ecotone forms, and highlight how the uncertainty of spaceborne estimates of height can contribute to the uncertainty in identifying TTE forms. A focus on reducing the uncertainty of height estimates in forest patches may improve depiction of TTE form, which may help explain variable forest responses in the

  1. Quantifying Direct and Indirect Impact of Future Climate on Sub-Arctic Hydrology

    Endalamaw, A. M.; Bolton, W. R.; Young-Robertson, J. M.; Morton, D.; Hinzman, L. D.

    2016-12-01

    Projected future climate will have a significant impact on the hydrology of interior Alaskan sub-arctic watersheds, directly though the changes in precipitation and temperature patterns, and indirectly through the cryospheric and ecological impacts. Although the latter is the dominant factor controlling the hydrological processes in the interior Alaska sub-arctic, it is often overlooked in many climate change impact studies. In this study, we aim to quantify and compare the direct and indirect impact of the projected future climate on the hydrology of the interior Alaskan sub-arctic watersheds. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) meso-scale hydrological model will be implemented to simulate the hydrological processes, including runoff, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture dynamics in the Chena River Basin (area = 5400km2), located in the interior Alaska sub-arctic region. Permafrost and vegetation distribution will be derived from the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab (GIPL) model and the Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Model (LPJ) model, respectively. All models will be calibrated and validated using historical data. The Scenario Network for Alaskan and Arctic Planning (SNAP) 5-model average projected climate data products will be used as forcing data for each of these models. The direct impact of climate change on hydrology is estimated using surface parameterization derived from the present day permafrost and vegetation distribution, and future climate forcing from SNAP projected climate data products. Along with the projected future climate, outputs of GIPL and LPJ will be incorporated into the VIC model to estimate the indirect and overall impact of future climate on the hydrology processes in the interior Alaskan sub-arctic watersheds. Finally, we will present the potential hydrological and ecological changes by the end of the 21st century.

  2. Characteristics of summer-time energy exchange in a high Arctic tundra heath 2000–2010

    Magnus Lund

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Global warming will bring about changes in surface energy balance of Arctic ecosystems, which will have implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as for climate system feedback mechanisms. In this study, we present a unique, long-term (2000–2010 record of summer-time energy balance components (net radiation, R n; sensible heat flux, H; latent heat flux, LE; and soil heat flux, G from a high Arctic tundra heath in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. This area has been subjected to strong summer-time warming with increasing active layer depths (ALD during the last decades. We observe high energy partitioning into H, low partitioning into LE and high Bowen ratio (β=H/LE compared with other Arctic sites, associated with local climatic conditions dominated by onshore winds, slender vegetation with low transpiration activity and relatively dry soils. Surface saturation vapour pressure deficit (D s was found to be an important variable controlling within-year surface energy partitioning. Throughout the study period, we observe increasing H/R n and LE/R n and decreasing G/R n and β, related to increasing ALD and decreasing soil wetness. Thus, changes in summer-time surface energy balance partitioning in Arctic ecosystems may be of importance for the climate system.

  3. Towards lidar-based mapping of tree age at the Arctic forest tundra ecotone.

    Jensen, J.; Maguire, A.; Oelkers, R.; Andreu-Hayles, L.; Boelman, N.; D'Arrigo, R.; Griffin, K. L.; Jennewein, J. S.; Hiers, E.; Meddens, A. J.; Russell, M.; Vierling, L. A.; Eitel, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change may cause spatial shifts in the forest-tundra ecotone (FTE). To improve our ability to study these spatial shifts, information on tree demography along the FTE is needed. The objective of this study was to assess the suitability of lidar derived tree heights as a surrogate for tree age. We calculated individual tree age from 48 tree cores collected at basal height from white spruce (Picea glauca) within the FTE in northern Alaska. Tree height was obtained from terrestrial lidar scans (= 3 m), yielding strong predictive relationships between height and age (R2 = 0.86, RMSE 12.21 years, and R2 = 0.93, RMSE = 25.16 years, respectively). The slope coefficient for small and large tree models (16.83 and 12.98 years/m, respectively) indicate that small trees grow 1.3 times faster than large trees at these FTE study sites. Although a strong, predictive relationship between age and height is uncommon in light-limited forest environments, our findings suggest that the sparseness of trees within the FTE may explain the strong tree height-age relationships found herein. Further analysis of 36 additional tree cores recently collected within the FTE near Inuvik, Canada will be performed. Our preliminary analysis suggests that lidar derived tree height could be a reliable proxy for tree age at the FTE, thereby establishing a new technique for scaling tree structure and demographics across larger portions of this sensitive ecotone.

  4. On the use of mulching to mitigate permafrost thaw due to linear disturbances in sub-arctic peatlands

    The presence or absence of permafrost significantly influences the hydrology and ecology of northern watersheds. Resource exploration activities are currently having noticeable effects on hydrological and ecological processes in sub-arctic peatlands. Disturbances such as seismic cutlines can result ...

  5. Effects of disturbance on ecosystem dynamics of tundra and riparian vegetation: A project in the R4D program. Final report

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1995-12-31

    Models were proposed as research tools to test the basic understanding of the structure and function of arctic ecosystems, as a means for providing initial management assessments of potential response to energy-related development, and as a vehicle for extrapolation of research results to other arctic sites and landscapes. This final summary report reviews progress made on models at a variety of scales from nutrient uptake by individual roots to nutrient availability within arctic landscapes, and examines potentials and critical limitations of these models for providing insight on patch and landscape level function in tundra regions.

  6. Response of a tundra ecosytem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO2-induced climate change. Final report

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO 2 flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO 2 flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990-94 growing season (June-August) to determine the local and regional patterns, of seasonal CO 2 exchange. In addition, net CO 2 flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO 2 exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO 2 flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO 2 efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO 2 exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH 4 flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990-91 growing seasons. Measurements were made on small (e.g. 0.5 m 2 ) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO 2 exchange and respiration over diurnal and seasonal cycles, and a large spatial extent that incorporated both locally and regionally diverse tundra surface types. Measurements both within and between ecosystem types typically extended over soil water table depth and temperature gradients, allowing for the indirect analysis of the effects of anticipated climate change scenarios on net CO 2 exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses

  7. Water track distribution and effects on carbon dioxide flux in an eastern Siberian upland tundra landscape

    Curasi, Salvatore R; Loranty, Michael M; Natali, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems may act as a positive feedback to climate warming, the strength of which depends on its spatial extent. Recent studies have shown that shrub expansion is more likely to occur in areas with high soil moisture and nutrient availability, conditions typically found in sub-surface water channels known as water tracks. Water tracks are 5–15 m wide channels of subsurface water drainage in permafrost landscapes and are characterized by deeper seasonal thaw depth, warmer soil temperatures, and higher soil moisture and nutrient content relative to adjacent tundra. Consequently, enhanced vegetation productivity, and dominance by tall deciduous shrubs, are typical in water tracks. Quantifying the distribution of water tracks may inform investigations of the extent of shrub expansion and associated impacts on tundra ecosystem carbon cycling. Here, we quantify the distribution of water tracks and their contribution to growing season CO 2 dynamics for a Siberian tundra landscape using satellite observations, meteorological data, and field measurements. We find that water tracks occupy 7.4% of the 448 km 2 study area, and account for a slightly larger proportion of growing season carbon uptake relative to surrounding tundra. For areas inside water tracks dominated by shrubs, field observations revealed higher shrub biomass and higher ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity relative to adjacent upland tundra. Conversely, a comparison of graminoid-dominated areas in water tracks and inter-track tundra revealed that water track locations dominated by graminoids had lower shrub biomass yet increased net uptake of CO 2 . Our results show water tracks are an important component of this landscape. Their distribution will influence ecosystem structural and functional responses to climate, and is therefore of importance for modeling. (letter)

  8. Parallel structure among environmental gradients and three trophic levels in a subarctic estuary

    Speckman, Suzann G.; Piatt, John F.; Minte-Vera, Carolina V.; Parrish, Julia K.

    2005-07-01

    We assessed spatial and temporal variability in the physical environment of a subarctic estuary, and examined concurrent patterns of chlorophyll α abundance (fluorescence), and zooplankton and forage fish community structure. Surveys were conducted in lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, during late July and early August from 1997 through 1999. Principle components analysis (PCA) revealed that spatial heterogeneity in the physical oceanographic environment of lower Cook Inlet could be modeled as three marine-estuarine gradients characterized by temperature, salinity, bottom depth, and turbidity. The gradients persisted from 1997 through 1999, and PCA explained 68% to 92% of the variance in physical oceanography for each gradient-year combination. Correlations between chlorophyll α abundance and distribution and the PCA axes were weak. Chlorophyll was reduced by turbidity, and low levels occurred in areas with high levels of suspended sediments. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was used to order the sample sites based on species composition and to order the zooplankton and forage fish taxa based on similarities among sample sites for each gradient-year. Correlations between the structure of the physical environment (PCA axis 1) and zooplankton community structure (DCA axis 1) were strong ( r = 0.43-0.86) in all years for the three marine-estuarine gradients, suggesting that zooplankton community composition was structured by the physical environment. The physical environment (PCA) and forage fish community structure (DCA) were weakly correlated in all years along Gradient 2, defined by halocline intensity and surface temperature and salinity, even though these physical variables were more important for defining zooplankton habitats. However, the physical environment (PCA) and forage fish community structure (DCA) were strongly correlated along the primary marine-estuarine gradient (#1) in 1997 ( r = 0.87) and 1998 ( r = 0.82). The correlation was poor ( r = 0.32) in

  9. Can lemmings control the expansion of woody plants on tundra?

    Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Olofsson, Johan; Virtanen, Risto; Hoset, Katrine; Tuomi, Maria; Kyrö, Kukka

    2013-04-01

    The ongoing expansion of woody vegetation in the arctic, due to global warming, creates a positive feed back loop. Increasing abundance of woody plants reduces surface albedo both directly and via speeding up snow melt. Thus a successively greater fraction of incoming solar radiation is absorbed and converted to heat. Browsing mammals - both big and small - can prevent this by consuming woody plants. However, the grazer/browser community of many tundra areas is dominated by brown/Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus spp.) which eat graminoids and mosses and cannot use woody plants as forage. It would seem a priori likely that in such areas, mammalian herbivores speed up the expansion of woody plants by improving the chances of their seedlings to get established. We studied the impact of lemmings on woody plants by constructing lemming proof exclosures within piece high-altitude tundra at Joatkanjávri, northernmost Norway. The exclosures were constructed in 1998, during a period of low lemming densities, in snow-beds, where Norwegian lemmings (L. lemmus) were the only ecologically significant herbivorous mammals. (Reindeer migrate through the area in May, when snow-beds are inaccessible for them; during the fall migration, the area represents a dead end and is therefore avoided.) We chose pairs of maximally similar vegetation patches of 0.5 by 0.5 m and randomly assigned one of each pair to become an exclosure while the other plot was left open. The initial state of the vegetation was documented by the point frequency method. In 2008, after the 2007 lemming outbreak, the same documentation was repeated; thereafter the plots were harvested, the vegetation was sorted to species, oven dried and weighed. Exclusion of lemmings resulted to pronounced increase in community level plant biomass. Evergreen woody plants were especially favored by the exclusion of lemming: their above-ground biomass in exclosures was 14 times as great as their biomass on open reference plots. The

  10. Influence of human development and predators on nest survival of tundra birds, Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska.

    Liebezeit, J R; Kendall, S J; Brown, S; Johnson, C B; Martin, P; McDonald, T L; Payer, D C; Rea, C L; Streever, B; Wildman, A M; Zack, S

    2009-09-01

    Nest predation may influence population dynamics of birds on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska, USA. Anthropogenic development on the ACP is increasing, which may attract nest predators by providing artificial sources of food, perches, den sites, and nest sites. Enhanced populations or concentrations of human-subsidized predators may reduce nest survival for tundra-nesting birds. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that nest survival decreases in proximity to human infrastructure. We monitored 1257 nests of 13 shorebird species and 619 nests of four passerine species at seven sites on the ACP from 2002 to 2005. Study sites were chosen to represent a range of distances to infrastructure from 100 m to 80 km. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to evaluate the effects of background (i.e., natural) factors and infrastructure on nest survival. We documented high spatial and temporal variability in nest survival, and site and year were both included in the best background model. We did not detect an effect of human infrastructure on nest survival for shorebirds as a group. In contrast, we found evidence that risk of predation for passerine nests increased within 5 km of infrastructure. This finding provides quantitative evidence of a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for breeding passerines on the ACP. A posteriori finer-scale analyses (within oil field sites and individual species) suggested that Red and Red-necked Phalaropes combined (Phalaropus fulicarius, P. lobatus) had lower productivity closer to infrastructure and in areas with higher abundance of subsidized predators. However, we did not detect such a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for Semipalmated and Pectoral Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla, C. melanotos), the two most abundant shorebirds. High variability in environmental conditions, nest survival, and predator numbers between sites and years may have contributed to these inconsistent results

  11. Rhododendron aureum Georgi formed a special soil microbial community and competed with above-ground plants on the tundra of the Changbai Mountain, China.

    Wang, Xiaolong; Li, Lin; Zhao, Wei; Zhao, Jiaxin; Chen, Xia

    2017-09-01

    Rhododendron aureum Georgi is a perennial evergreen dwarf shrub that grows at all elevations within the alpine tundra of northern China. Previous research has investigated the plant communities of R. aureum ; however, little information is available regarding interspecific competition and underground soil microbial community composition. The objective of our study was to determine whether the presence of R. aureum creates a unique soil microbiome and to investigate the relationship between R. aureum and other plant species. Our study site ranged from 1,800 to 2,600 m above sea level on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountain. The results show that the soil from sites with an R. aureum community had a higher abundance of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and a higher resistance to pathogens than soils from sites without R. aureum . We emphasize that R. aureum promotes a unique soil microbial community structure that is distinct from those associated with other plants. Elevation and microbial biomass were the main influencing factors for plant community structure. Analysis of interspecific relationships reveals that R. aureum is negatively associated with most other dominant shrubs and herbs, suggesting interspecific competition. It is necessary to focus on other dominant species if protection and restoration of the R. aureum competition is to occur. In the future, more is needed to prove whether R. aureum decreases species diversity in the tundra ecosystems of Changbai Mountain.

  12. Shrub-tree interactions and environmental changes drive treeline dynamics in the Subarctic.

    Grau, O.; Ninot, J.M.; Blanco-Moreno, J.M.; van Logtestijn, R.S.P; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Callaghan, T.V.

    2012-01-01

    Treelines have drawn persistent research interest as they can respond markedly to climate. However, the mechanisms that determine tree seedling recruitment and the response of the forest-tundra ecotone to environmental changes remain poorly understood. We hypothesise that treeline tree seedling

  13. What Does Matter?: Idols and Icons in the Nenets Tundra

    Laur Vallikivi

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines a mission encounter in the Nenets reindeer herders’ tundra. In post-Soviet Arctic Russia, Pentecostal and Baptist missionaries of Russian and Ukrainian origin have been fighting against idolatry and trying to persuade the Nenets to burn their sacred images or khekhe’’. They claim that among the indigenous Siberians idolatry exists in its quintessential or prototypical form, as it is described in the Bible. I shall suggest that this encounter takes place in a gap, in which the Nenets and Protestant have different understandings of language and materiality. Missionaries rely simultaneously on the ‘modern’ ideology of signification and the ‘non-modern’ magic of the material. They argue that idols, which are ‘nothing’ according to the scriptures, dangerously bind the ‘pagans’’ minds. For reindeer herders, for whom sacred items occupy an important place in the family wellbeing, the main issue is how to sever the link with the spirits without doing any damage.

  14. [The processes of methane formation and oxidation in the soils of the Russian arctic tundra].

    Berestovskaia, Iu Iu; Rusanov, I I; Vasil'eva, L V; Pimenov, N V

    2005-01-01

    Methane emission from the following types of tundra soils was studied: coarse humic gleyey loamy cryo soil, peaty gley soil, and peaty gleyey midloamy cryo soil of the arctic tundra. All the soils studied were found to be potential sources of atmospheric methane. The highest values of methane emission were recorded in August at a soil temperature of 8-10 degrees C. Flooded parcels were the sources of atmospheric methane throughout the observation period. The rates of methane production and oxidation in tundra soils of various types at 5 and 15 degrees C were studied by the radioisotope method. Methane oxidation was found to occur in bog water, in the green part of peat moss, and in all the soil horizons studied. Methane formation was recorded in the horizons of peat, in clay with plant roots, and in peaty moss dust of the bogey parcels. At both temperatures, the methane oxidation rate exceeded the rate of methane formation in all the horizons of the mossy-lichen tundra and of the bumpy sinkhole complex. Methanogenesis prevailed only in a sedge-peat moss bog at 15 degrees C. Enrichment bacterial cultures oxidizing methane at 5 and 15 degrees C were obtained. Different types of methanotrophic bacteria were shown to be responsible for methane oxidation under these conditions. A representative of type I methylotrophs oxidized methane at 5 degrees C, and Methylocella tundrae, a psychroactive representative of an acidophilic methanotrophic genus Methylocella, at 15 degrees C.

  15. How Will the Tundra-Taiga Interface Respond to Climate Change?

    Skre, Oddvar [Norwegian Forest Research Inst., Fana (Norway); Baxter, Bob [Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom). School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Crawford, Robert M.M. [Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom); Callaghan, Terry V. [Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom). Sheffield Centre for Arctic Ecology; Fedorkov, Aleksey [Russian Academy of Sciences, Syktyvkar (Russian Federation). Inst. of Biology

    2002-08-01

    The intuitive and logical answer to the question of how the tundra-taiga interface will react to global warming is that it should move north and this is mirrored by many models of potential treeline migration. Northward movement may be the eventual outcome if climatic warming persists over centuries or millennia. However, closer examination of the tundra-taiga interface across its circumpolar extent reveals a more complex situation. The regional climatic history of the tundra-taiga interface is highly varied, and consequently it is to be expected that the forest tundra boundary zone will respond differently to climate change depending on local variations in climate, evolutionary history, soil development, and hydrology. Investigations reveal considerable stability at present in the position of the treeline and while there may be a long-term advance northwards there are oceanic regions where climatic warming may result in a retreat southwards due to increased bog development. Reinforcing this trend is an increasing human impact, particularly in the forest tundra of Russia, which forces the limit of the forested areas southwards. Local variations will therefore require continued observation and research, as they will be of considerable importance economically as well as for ecology and conservation.

  16. Alaska Tundra Travel Modeling Project and implications for seismic best management practices

    Schultz, G. [Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources, Anchorage, AK (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Much of the oil and gas exploration in the Alaskan North Slope depends on winter off-road travel to gain access to remote exploration areas. A study was conducted to relate vehicular off-road travel to tundra disturbance. Four types of vehicles were driven on the tundra on specific plots at various times throughout early to mid winter in an effort to determine if travel could occur earlier than current practice without impacting tundra integrity. Variables were measured the summer before travel, at the time of travel and the summers following travel. The results were used to develop a management tool to determine when conditions are adequate to allow winter vehicular off-road travel. It was determined that the soil temperature should be 5 degrees C or colder at a depth of 30 cm, with snow depths of 15 cm in coastal sedge tundra or 23 cm in foothills tussock tundra. This presentation also discussed the implications for managing off-road travel associated with seismic operations and recent changes in the types of vehicles used for these operations. figs.

  17. Impacts of Climate Change Induced Vegetation Responses on BVOC Emissions from Subarctic Heath Ecosystems

    Valolahti, Hanna Maritta

    The role of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) affecting Earths’ climate system is one of the greatest uncertainties when modelling the global climate change. BVOCs presence in the atmosphere can have both positive and negative climate feedback mechanisms when they involve atmospheric...... chemistry and physics. Vegetation is the main source of BVOCs. Their production is directly linked to temperature and the foliar biomass. On global scale, vegetation in subarctic and arctic regions has been modeled to have only minor contribution to annual total BVOC emissions. In these regions cold...... temperature has been regulating annual plant biomass production, but ongoing global warming is more pronounced in these regions than what the global average is. This may increase the importance of subarctic and arctic vegetation as a source of BVOC emissions in near future. This thesis aims to increase...

  18. Growing season boundary layer climate and surface exchanges in a subarctic lichen woodland

    Fitzjarrald, David R.; Moore, Kathleen E.

    1994-01-01

    Between June and August 1990, observations were made at two surface micrometeorological towers near Schefferville Quebec (54 deg 52 min N, 66 deg 40.5 min W), one in a fen and one in the subarctic lichen woodland, and at four surface climatological stations. Data from these surface stations were supplemented by regular radiosonde launches. Supporting measurements of radiative components and soil temperatures allowed heat and moisture balances to be obtained at two sites. The overall surface meteorological experiment design and results of micrometeorological observations made on a 30-m tower in the lichen woodland are presented here. Seasonal variation in the heat and water vapor transport characteristics illustrate the marked effect of the late summer climatological shift in air mass type. During the first half of the summer, average valley sidewalls only 100 m high are sufficient to channel winds along the valley in the entire convective boundary layer. Channeling effects at the surface, known for some time at the long-term climate station in Schefferville, are observed both at ridge top and in the valley, possibly the response of the flow to the NW-SE orientation of valleys in the region. Diurnal surface temperature amplitude at ridge top (approximately equal to 10 C) was found to be half that observed in the valley. Relatively large differences in precipitation among these stations and the climatological station at Schefferville airport were observed and attributed to the local topography. Eddy correlation observations of the heat, moisture and momentum transports were obtained from a 30-m tower above a sparse (approximately equal to 616 stems/ha) black spruce lichen woodland. Properties of the turbulent surface boundary layer agree well with previous wind tunnel studies over idealized rough surfaces. Daytime Bowen ratios of 2.5-3 are larger than those reported in previous studies. Surface layer flux data quality was assessed by looking at the surface layer heat

  19. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide fluxes from a fire chronosequence in subarctic boreal forests of Canada.

    Köster, Egle; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Aaltonen, Heidi; Zhou, Xuan; Pumpanen, Jukka

    2017-12-01

    Forest fires are one of the most important natural disturbances in boreal forests, and their occurrence and severity are expected to increase as a result of climate warming. A combination of factors induced by fire leads to a thawing of the near-surface permafrost layer in subarctic boreal forest. Earlier studies reported that an increase in the active layer thickness results in higher carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ) emissions. We studied changes in CO 2 , CH 4 and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes in this study, and the significance of several environmental factors that influence the greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes at three forest sites that last had fires in 2012, 1990 and 1969, and we compared these to a control area that had no fire for at least 100years. The soils in our study acted as sources of CO 2 and N 2 O and sinks for CH 4 . The elapsed time since the last forest fire was the only factor that significantly influenced all studied GHG fluxes. Soil temperature affected the uptake of CH 4 , and the N 2 O fluxes were significantly influenced by nitrogen and carbon content of the soil, and by the active layer depth. Results of our study confirm that the impacts of a forest fire on GHGs last for a rather long period of time in boreal forests, and are influenced by the fire induced changes in the ecosystem. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Diversity and population structure of Marine Group A bacteria in the Northeast subarctic Pacific Ocean

    Allers, Elke; Wright, Jody J; Konwar, Kishori M; Howes, Charles G; Beneze, Erica; Hallam, Steven J; Sullivan, Matthew B

    2012-01-01

    Marine Group A (MGA) is a candidate phylum of Bacteria that is ubiquitous and abundant in the ocean. Despite being prevalent, the structural and functional properties of MGA populations remain poorly constrained. Here, we quantified MGA diversity and population structure in relation to nutrients and O2 concentrations in the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) of the Northeast subarctic Pacific Ocean using a combination of catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) and ...

  1. Recent changes in aquatic biota in subarctic Fennoscandia - the role of global and local environmental variables

    Weckström, Jan; Leppänen, Jaakko; Sorvari, Sanna; Kaukolehto, Marjut; Weckström, Kaarina; Korhola, Atte

    2013-04-01

    The Arctic, representing a fifth of the earth's surface, is highly sensitive to the predicted future warming and it has indeed been warming up faster than most other regions. This makes the region critically important and highlights the need to investigate the earliest signals of global warming and its impacts on the arctic and subarctic aquatic ecosystems and their biota. It has been demonstrated that many Arctic freshwater ecosystems have already experienced dramatic and unpreceded regime shifts during the last ca. 150 years, primarily driven by climate warming. However, despite the indisputable impact of climate-related variables on freshwater ecosystems other, especially local-scale catchment related variables (e.g. geology, vegetation, human activities) may override the climate signal and become the primary factor in shaping the structure of aquatic ecosystems. Although many studies have contributed to an improved understanding of limnological and hydrobiological features of Artic and subarctic lakes, much information is still needed especially on the interaction between the biotic and abiotic components, i.e. on factors controlling the food web dynamics in these sensitive aquatic ecosystems. This is of special importance as these lakes are of great value in water storage, flood prevention, and maintenance of biodiversity, in addition to which they are vital resources for settlement patterns, food production, recreation, and tourism. In this study we compare the pre-industrial sediment assemblages of primary producers (diatoms and Pediastrum) and primary consumers (cladoceran and chironomids) with their modern assemblages (a top-bottom approach) from 50 subarctic Fennoscandian lakes. We will evaluate the recent regional pattern of changes in aquatic assemblages, and assess how coherent the lakes' responses are across the subarctic area. Moreover, the impact of global (e.g. climate, precipitation) and local (e.g. lake and its catchment characteristics) scale

  2. Molecular analyses reveal high species diversity of trematodes in a sub-Arctic lake

    Soldánová, Miroslava; Georgieva, Simona; Roháčová, Jana; Knudsen, R.; Kuhn, J. A.; Henriksen, E. H.; Siwertsson, A.; Shaw, J. C.; Kuris, A. M.; Amundsen, P.-A.; Scholz, Tomáš; Lafferty, K. D.; Kostadinova, Aneta

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 6 (2017), s. 327-345 ISSN 0020-7519 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-14198S; GA ČR GAP505/10/1562 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Trematode diversity * intermediate hosts * phylogeny * mitochondrial DNA * nuclear DNA * Lake Takvatn * Norway * Sub-Arctic Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2016

  3. Hematology, plasma chemistry, and bacteriology of wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) in Alaska.

    Milani, Juliana F; Wilson, Heather; Ziccardi, Michael; LeFebvre, Rance; Scott, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    Blood and cloacal swabs were collected from 100 (66 female, 34 male) wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) molting in northwestern Alaska, USA, 25-28 July 2008, to establish hematologic and serum chemistry reference values and to isolate enteric Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Plasma biochemistry and hematology values did not vary significantly by sex or age. Tundra swans had high levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and alkaline phosphatase compared with some other avian species (values were up to 7 times greater), possibly indicating capture myopathy. However, concentrations were much lower (up to 8 times lower) than in other waterfowl exposed to similar or more intensive capture methods. White blood cell count and hematocrit values were similar to other waterfowl species, and enteric Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 were not present among birds sampled. Our data provide the first biochemical, hematologic, and bacteriologic reference values for wild Tundra Swans.

  4. Allochthonous Carbon--a Major Driver of Bacterioplankton Production in the Subarctic Northern Baltic Sea.

    Figueroa, D; Rowe, O F; Paczkowska, J; Legrand, C; Andersson, A

    2016-05-01

    Heterotrophic bacteria are, in many aquatic systems, reliant on autochthonous organic carbon as their energy source. One exception is low-productive humic lakes, where allochthonous dissolved organic matter (ADOM) is the major driver. We hypothesized that bacterial production (BP) is similarly regulated in subarctic estuaries that receive large amounts of riverine material. BP and potential explanatory factors were measured during May-August 2011 in the subarctic Råne Estuary, northern Sweden. The highest BP was observed in spring, concomitant with the spring river-flush and the lowest rates occurred during summer when primary production (PP) peaked. PLS correlations showed that ∼60% of the BP variation was explained by different ADOM components, measured as humic substances, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM). On average, BP was threefold higher than PP. The bioavailability of allochthonous dissolved organic carbon (ADOC) exhibited large spatial and temporal variation; however, the average value was low, ∼2%. Bioassay analysis showed that BP in the near-shore area was potentially carbon limited early in the season, while BP at seaward stations was more commonly limited by nitrogen-phosphorus. Nevertheless, the bioassay indicated that ADOC could contribute significantly to the in situ BP, ∼60%. We conclude that ADOM is a regulator of BP in the studied estuary. Thus, projected climate-induced increases in river discharge suggest that BP will increase in subarctic coastal areas during the coming century.

  5. Estimation of permafrost thawing rates in a sub-arctic catchment using recession flow analysis

    S. W. Lyon

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost thawing is likely to change the flow pathways taken by water as it moves through arctic and sub-arctic landscapes. The location and distribution of these pathways directly influence the carbon and other biogeochemical cycling in northern latitude catchments. While permafrost thawing due to climate change has been observed in the arctic and sub-arctic, direct observations of permafrost depth are difficult to perform at scales larger than a local scale. Using recession flow analysis, it may be possible to detect and estimate the rate of permafrost thawing based on a long-term streamflow record. We demonstrate the application of this approach to the sub-arctic Abiskojokken catchment in northern Sweden. Based on recession flow analysis, we estimate that permafrost in this catchment may be thawing at an average rate of about 0.9 cm/yr during the past 90 years. This estimated thawing rate is consistent with direct observations of permafrost thawing rates, ranging from 0.7 to 1.3 cm/yr over the past 30 years in the region.

  6. Active Layer Monitoring, Arctic and Subarctic Canada, Version 6

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project involves measuring regional and site variability in maximum annual active layer development and vertical surface movement over permafrost, and...

  7. Metagenomics reveals pervasive bacterial populations and reduced community diversity across the Alaska tundra ecosystem

    Eric Robert Johnston

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available How soil microbial communities contrast with respect to taxonomic and functional composition within and between ecosystems remains an unresolved question that is central to predicting how global anthropogenic change will affect soil functioning and services. In particular, it remains unclear how small-scale observations of soil communities based on the typical volume sampled (1-2 grams are generalizable to ecosystem-scale responses and processes. This is especially relevant for remote, northern latitude soils, which are challenging to sample and are also thought to be more vulnerable to climate change compared to temperate soils. Here, we employed well-replicated shotgun metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize community composition and metabolic potential in Alaskan tundra soils, combining our own datasets with those publically available from distant tundra and temperate grassland and agriculture habitats. We found that the abundance of many taxa and metabolic functions differed substantially between tundra soil metagenomes relative to those from temperate soils, and that a high degree of OTU-sharing exists between tundra locations. Tundra soils were an order of magnitude less complex than their temperate counterparts, allowing for near-complete coverage of microbial community richness (~92% breadth by sequencing, and the recovery of twenty-seven high-quality, almost complete (>80% completeness population bins. These population bins, collectively, made up to ~10% of the metagenomic datasets, and represented diverse taxonomic groups and metabolic lifestyles tuned toward sulfur cycling, hydrogen metabolism, methanotrophy, and organic matter oxidation. Several population bins, including members of Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, were also present in geographically distant (~100-530 km apart tundra habitats (full genome representation and up to 99.6% genome-derived average nucleotide identity. Collectively

  8. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    Duchesne, R.; Chopping, M. J.; Wang, Z.; Schaaf, C.; Tape, K. D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 60 years an increase in shrub abundance has been observed in the Arctic tundra in connection with a rapid surface warming trend. Rapid shrub expansion may have consequences in terms of ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate; however, its rate is not yet known. The goal of this research effort is thus to map large scale changes in Arctic tundra vegetation by exploiting the structural signal in moderate resolution satellite remote sensing images from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped onto a 250m Albers Conic Equal Area grid. We present here large area shrub mapping supported by reference data collated using extensive field inventory data and high resolution panchromatic imagery. MISR Level 1B2 Terrain radiance scenes from the Terra satellite from 15 June-31 July, 2000 - 2010 were converted to surface bidirectional reflectance factors (BRF) using MISR Toolkit routines and the MISR 1 km LAND product BRFs. The red band data in all available cameras were used to invert the RossThick-LiSparse-Reciprocal BRDF model to retrieve kernel weights, model-fitting RMSE, and Weights of Determination. The reference database was constructed using aerial survey, three field campaigns (field inventory for shrub count, cover, mean radius and height), and high resolution imagery. Tall shrub number, mean crown radius, cover, and mean height estimates were obtained from QuickBird and GeoEye panchromatic image chips using the CANAPI algorithm, and calibrated using field-based estimates, thus extending the database to over eight hundred locations. Tall shrub fractional cover maps for the North Slope of Alaska were constructed using the bootstrap forest machine learning algorithm that exploits the surface information provided by MISR. The reference database was divided into two datasets for training and validation. The model derived used a set of 19 independent variables(the three kernel weights, ratios and interaction terms

  9. Tundra water budget and implications of precipitation underestimation.

    Liljedahl, Anna K; Hinzman, Larry D; Kane, Douglas L; Oechel, Walter C; Tweedie, Craig E; Zona, Donatella

    2017-08-01

    Difficulties in obtaining accurate precipitation measurements have limited meaningful hydrologic assessment for over a century due to performance challenges of conventional snowfall and rainfall gauges in windy environments. Here, we compare snowfall observations and bias adjusted snowfall to end-of-winter snow accumulation measurements on the ground for 16 years (1999-2014) and assess the implication of precipitation underestimation on the water balance for a low-gradient tundra wetland near Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska (2007-2009). In agreement with other studies, and not accounting for sublimation, conventional snowfall gauges captured 23-56% of end-of-winter snow accumulation. Once snowfall and rainfall are bias adjusted, long-term annual precipitation estimates more than double (from 123 to 274 mm), highlighting the risk of studies using conventional or unadjusted precipitation that dramatically under-represent water balance components. Applying conventional precipitation information to the water balance analysis produced consistent storage deficits (79 to 152 mm) that were all larger than the largest actual deficit (75 mm), which was observed in the unusually low rainfall summer of 2007. Year-to-year variability in adjusted rainfall (±33 mm) was larger than evapotranspiration (±13 mm). Measured interannual variability in partitioning of snow into runoff (29% in 2008 to 68% in 2009) in years with similar end-of-winter snow accumulation (180 and 164 mm, respectively) highlights the importance of the previous summer's rainfall (25 and 60 mm, respectively) on spring runoff production. Incorrect representation of precipitation can therefore have major implications for Arctic water budget descriptions that in turn can alter estimates of carbon and energy fluxes.

  10. Arctic Tundra Soils: A Microbial Feast That Shrubs Will Cease

    Machmuller, M.; Calderon, F.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Lynch, L.; Paul, E. A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    Rapid climate warming may already be driving rapid decomposition of the vast stocks of carbon in Arctic tundra soils. However, stimulated decomposition may also release nitrogen and support increased plant productivity, potentially counteracting soil carbon losses. At the same time, these two processes interact, with plant derived carbon potentially fueling soil microbes to attack soil organic matter (SOM) to acquire nitrogen- a process known as priming. Thus, differences in the physiology, stoichiometry and microbial interactions among plant species could affect climate-carbon feedbacks. To reconcile these interactive mechanisms, we examined how vegetation type (Betula nana and Eriophorum vaginatum) and fertilization (short-term and long-term) influenced the decomposition of native SOM after labile carbon and nutrient addition. We hypothesized that labile carbon inputs would stimulate the loss of native SOM, but the magnitude of this effect would be indirectly related to soil nitrogen concentrations (e.g. SOM priming would be highest in N-limited soils). We added isotopically enriched (13C) glucose and ammonium nitrate to soils under shrub (B. nana) and tussock (E. vaginatum) vegetation. We found that nitrogen additions stimulated priming only in tussock soils, characterized by lower nutrient concentrations and microbial biomass (p20yrs. Rather, we found that long-term fertilization shifted SOM chemistry towards a greater abundance of recalcitrant SOM, lower microbial biomass, and decreased SOM respiration (p<0.05). Our results suggest that, in the short-term, the magnitude of SOM priming is dependent on vegetation and soil nitrogen concentrations, but this effect may not persist if shrubs increase in abundance under climate warming. Therefore, including nitrogen as a control on SOM decomposition and priming is critical to accurately model the effects of climate change on arctic carbon storage.

  11. Aircraft-measured indirect cloud effects from biomass burning smoke in the Arctic and subarctic

    L. M. Zamora

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of wildfires in the Arctic and subarctic is increasing; in boreal North America, for example, the burned area is expected to increase by 200–300 % over the next 50–100 years, which previous studies suggest could have a large effect on cloud microphysics, lifetime, albedo, and precipitation. However, the interactions between smoke particles and clouds remain poorly quantified due to confounding meteorological influences and remote sensing limitations. Here, we use data from several aircraft campaigns in the Arctic and subarctic to explore cloud microphysics in liquid-phase clouds influenced by biomass burning. Median cloud droplet radii in smoky clouds were  ∼  40–60 % smaller than in background clouds. Based on the relationship between cloud droplet number (Nliq and various biomass burning tracers (BBt across the multi-campaign data set, we calculated the magnitude of subarctic and Arctic smoke aerosol–cloud interactions (ACIs, where ACI  =  (1∕3 × dln(Nliq∕dln(BBt to be  ∼  0.16 out of a maximum possible value of 0.33 that would be obtained if all aerosols were to nucleate cloud droplets. Interestingly, in a separate subarctic case study with low liquid water content ( ∼  0.02 g m−3 and very high aerosol concentrations (2000–3000 cm−3 in the most polluted clouds, the estimated ACI value was only 0.05. In this case, competition for water vapor by the high concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN strongly limited the formation of droplets and reduced the cloud albedo effect, which highlights the importance of cloud feedbacks across scales. Using our calculated ACI values, we estimate that the smoke-driven cloud albedo effect may decrease local summertime short-wave radiative flux by between 2 and 4 W m−2 or more under some low and homogeneous cloud cover conditions in the subarctic, although the changes should be smaller in high surface albedo regions of the

  12. Shifting Foliar N:P Ratios with Experimental Soil Warming in Tussock Tundra

    Jasinski, B.; Mack, M. C.; Schuur, E.; Mauritz, M.; Walker, X. J.

    2017-12-01

    Warming temperatures in the Arctic and boreal ecosystems are currently driving widespread permafrost thaw. Thermokarst is one form of thaw, in which a deepening active soil layer and associated hydrologic changes can lead to increased nutrient availability and shifts in plant community composition. Individual plant species often differ in their ability to access nutrients and adapt to new environmental conditions. While nitrogen (N) is often the nutrient most limiting to Arctic plant communities, the extent to which plant available phosphorus (P) from previously frozen mineral soil may increase as the active layer deepens is still uncertain. To understand the changing relationship between species' uptake of N and P in a thermokarst environment, we assessed foliar N:P ratios from 2015 in two species, a tussock sedge (Eriophorum vaginatum) and a dwarf shrub (Rubus chamaemorus), at a moist acidic tussock tundra experimental passive soil warming site. The passive soil warming treatment increased active layer depth in warmed plots by 35.4 cm (+/- 1.1 cm), an 80% increase over the control plots. E.vaginatum demonstrated a 16.9% decrease (p=0.012, 95% CI [-27.99%, -5.94%]) in foliar N:P ratios in warmed plots, driven mostly by an increase in foliar phosphorus. Foliar N:P ratios of R.chamaemorus showed no significant change. However, foliar samples of R.chamaemorus were significantly enriched in the isotope 15N in soil warming plots (9.9% increase (p=0.002, 95% CI [4.45%, 15.39%])), while the sedge E.vaginatum was slightly depleted. These results suggest that (1) in environments with thawing mineral soil plant available phosphorus may increase more quickly than nitrogen, and (2) that species' uptake strategies and responses to increasing N and P will vary, which has implications for future ecological shifts in thawing ecosystems.

  13. Permafrost collapse alters soil carbon stocks, respiration, CH4 , and N2O in upland tundra.

    Abbott, Benjamin W; Jones, Jeremy B

    2015-12-01

    Release of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost is potentially the largest terrestrial feedback to climate change and one of the most likely to occur; however, estimates of its strength vary by a factor of thirty. Some of this uncertainty stems from abrupt thaw processes known as thermokarst (permafrost collapse due to ground ice melt), which alter controls on carbon and nitrogen cycling and expose organic matter from meters below the surface. Thermokarst may affect 20-50% of tundra uplands by the end of the century; however, little is known about the effect of different thermokarst morphologies on carbon and nitrogen release. We measured soil organic matter displacement, ecosystem respiration, and soil gas concentrations at 26 upland thermokarst features on the North Slope of Alaska. Features included the three most common upland thermokarst morphologies: active-layer detachment slides, thermo-erosion gullies, and retrogressive thaw slumps. We found that thermokarst morphology interacted with landscape parameters to determine both the initial displacement of organic matter and subsequent carbon and nitrogen cycling. The large proportion of ecosystem carbon exported off-site by slumps and slides resulted in decreased ecosystem respiration postfailure, while gullies removed a smaller portion of ecosystem carbon but strongly increased respiration and N2 O concentration. Elevated N2 O in gully soils persisted through most of the growing season, indicating sustained nitrification and denitrification in disturbed soils, representing a potential noncarbon permafrost climate feedback. While upland thermokarst formation did not substantially alter redox conditions within features, it redistributed organic matter into both oxic and anoxic environments. Across morphologies, residual organic matter cover, and predisturbance respiration explained 83% of the variation in respiration response. Consistent differences between upland thermokarst types may contribute to the

  14. Water balance along a chain of tundra lakes: A 20-year isotopic perspective

    Gibson, J. J.; Reid, R.

    2014-11-01

    Stable isotope measurements and isotope mass balance (IMB) calculations are presented in support of an unprecedented 20-year water balance assessment for a tailings pond and a chain of downstream lakes at the Salmita-Tundra mine site, situated near Courageous Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada (65°03‧N; 111°11‧W). The method is shown to provide a comprehensive annual and interannual perspective of water balance fluxes along a chain of lakes during the period 1991-2010, without the need for continuous streamflow gauging, and reveals important lake-order-dependent patterns of land-surface runoff, discharge accumulation, and several key diagnostic ratios, i.e., evaporation/inflow, evaporation/evapotranspiration, land-surface-runoff/precipitation and discharge/ precipitation. Lake evaporation is found to be a significant component of the water balance, accounting for between 26% and 32% of inflow to natural lakes and between 72% and 100% of inflow to mine-tailings ponds. Evaporation/evapotranspiration averages between 7% and 22% and is found to be higher in low-precipitation years, and in watersheds with a higher proportion of lakes. Runoff ratios for land-surface drainages and runoff ratios for watersheds (including lakes) ranged between 14-47% and 20-47%, respectively, and were higher in low precipitation years, in watersheds with a higher proportion of lakes, and in watersheds less affected by mining development. We propose that in general these two runoff ratios will likely converge as lake order increases and as land cover conditions become regionally representative. Notably, the study demonstrates application of IMB, validated with streamflow measurements, to constrain local water balance in a remote low-arctic region. For IMB chain-of-lakes applications, it underlines the importance of accounting for evaporatively-enriched upstream sources to avoid overestimation of evaporation losses.

  15. The footprint of Alaskan tundra fires during the past half-century: implications for surface properties and radiative forcing

    Rocha, Adrian V; Loranty, Michael M; Higuera, Phil E; Mack, Michelle C; Hu Fengsheng; Jones, Benjamin M; Breen, Amy L; Rastetter, Edward B; Shaver, Gus R; Goetz, Scott J

    2012-01-01

    Recent large and frequent fires above the Alaskan arctic circle have forced a reassessment of the ecological and climatological importance of fire in arctic tundra ecosystems. Here we provide a general overview of the occurrence, distribution, and ecological and climate implications of Alaskan tundra fires over the past half-century using spatially explicit climate, fire, vegetation and remote sensing datasets for Alaska. Our analyses highlight the importance of vegetation biomass and environmental conditions in regulating tundra burning, and demonstrate that most tundra ecosystems are susceptible to burn, providing the environmental conditions are right. Over the past two decades, fire perimeters above the arctic circle have increased in size and importance, especially on the North Slope, indicating that future wildfire projections should account for fire regime changes in these regions. Remote sensing data and a literature review of thaw depths indicate that tundra fires have both positive and negative implications for climatic feedbacks including a decadal increase in albedo radiative forcing immediately after a fire, a stimulation of surface greenness and a persistent long-term (>10 year) increase in thaw depth. In order to address the future impact of tundra fires on climate, a better understanding of the control of tundra fire occurrence as well as the long-term impacts on ecosystem carbon cycling will be required. (letter)

  16. Spring feeding by pink-footed geese reduces carbon stocks and sink strength in tundra ecosystems

    van der Wal, Rene; Sjogersten, Sofie; Woodin, Sarah J.; Cooper, Elisabeth J.; Jonsdottir, Ingibjorg S.; Kuijper, Dries; Fox, Tony A. D.; Huiskes, A. D.

    Tundra ecosystems are widely recognized as precious areas and globally important carbon (C) sinks, yet our understanding of potential threats to these habitats and their large soil C store is limited. Land-use changes and conservation measures in temperate regions have led to a dramatic expansion of

  17. Spring feeding by pink-footed geese reduces carbon stocks and sink strength in tundra ecosystems

    Van der Wal, R.; Sjögersten, S.; Woodin, S.J.; Cooper, E.J.; Jónsdóttir, I.S.; Kuijper, D.; Fox, A.D.; Huiskes, A.H.L.

    2007-01-01

    Tundra ecosystems are widely recognized as precious areas and globally important carbon (C) sinks, yet our understanding of potential threats to these habitats and their large soil C store is limited. Land-use changes and conservation measures in temperate regions have led to a dramatic expansion of

  18. Seasonal variability of leaf area index and foliar nitrogen in contrasting dry-mesic tundras

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Lemeur, Raoul

    2009-01-01

    Assimilation and exchange of carbon for arctic ecosystems depend strongly on leaf area index (LAI) and total foliar nitrogen (TFN). For dry-mesic tundras, the seasonality of these characteristics is unexplored. We addressed this knowledge gap by measuring variations of LAI and TFN at five contras...

  19. Alpine forest-tundra ecotone response to temperature change,Sayan Mountains, Siberia

    Ranson, K Jon; Kharuk, Vyetcheslav I.

    2007-01-01

    Models of climate change predict shifts of vegetation zones. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. There is evidence of vegetation change on the northern treeline However, observations on alpine tree line response are controversial. In this NEESPI related study we show that during the past three decades in the forest-tundra ecotone of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure, regeneration propagation into the alpine tundra, and transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal forms. We found that these changes occurred since the mid 1980s, and strongly correlates with positive temperature (and to a lesser extent, precipitation) trends. Improving climate for forest growth( i.e., warmer temperatures and increased precipitation) provides competitive advantages to Siberian pine in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone, as well as in areas typically dominated by larch, where it has been found to be forming a secondary canopy layer. Substitution of deciduous conifer, larch, for evergreen conifers, decreases albedo and provides positive feedback for temperature increase.

  20. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION, TRANSPORTATION, SALE, PURCHASE, BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS ...

  1. Geomorphic determinants of species composition of alpine tundra, Glacier National Park, U.S.A.

    George P. Malanson,; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2012-01-01

    Because the distribution of alpine tundra is associated with spatially limited cold climates, global warming may threaten its local extent or existence. This notion has been challenged, however, based on observations of the diversity of alpine tundra in small areas primarily due to topographic variation. The importance of diversity in temperature or moisture conditions caused by topographic variation is an open question, and we extend this to geomorphology more generally. The extent to which geomorphic variation per se, based on relatively easily assessed indicators, can account for the variation in alpine tundra community composition is analyzed versus the inclusion of broad indicators of regional climate variation. Visual assessments of topography are quantified and reduced using principal components analysis (PCA). Observations of species cover are reduced using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). A “best subsets” regression approach using the Akaike Information Criterion for selection of variables is compared to a simple stepwise regression with DCA scores as the dependent variable and scores on significant PCA axes plus more direct measures of topography as independent variables. Models with geographic coordinates (representing regional climate gradients) excluded explain almost as much variation in community composition as models with them included, although they are important contributors to the latter. The geomorphic variables in the model are those associated with local moisture differences such as snowbeds. The potential local variability of alpine tundra can be a buffer against climate change, but change in precipitation may be as important as change in temperature.

  2. Tundra landform and vegetation productivity trend maps for the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra landscapes are composed of a complex mosaic of patterned ground features, varying in soil moisture, vegetation composition, and surface hydrology over small spatial scales (10–100 m). The importance of microtopography and associated geomorphic landforms in influencing ecosystem structure and function is well founded, however, spatial data products describing local to regional scale distribution of patterned ground or polygonal tundra geomorphology are largely unavailable. Thus, our understanding of local impacts on regional scale processes (e.g., carbon dynamics) may be limited. We produced two key spatiotemporal datasets spanning the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km2) to evaluate climate-geomorphological controls on arctic tundra productivity change, using (1) a novel 30 m classification of polygonal tundra geomorphology and (2) decadal-trends in surface greenness using the Landsat archive (1999–2014). These datasets can be easily integrated and adapted in an array of local to regional applications such as (1) upscaling plot-level measurements (e.g., carbon/energy fluxes), (2) mapping of soils, vegetation, or permafrost, and/or (3) initializing ecosystem biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or habitat modeling.

  3. Potential Arctic tundra vegetation shifts in response to changing temperature, precipitation and permafrost thaw

    Kolk, van der Henk-Jan; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Huissteden, van J.; Pullens, J.W.M.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated

  4. Plant functional type affects nitrogen use efficiency in high-Arctic tundra

    Oulehle, F.; Rowe, E. C.; Myška, Oldřich; Chuman, T.; Evans, C.D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 94, mar (2016), s. 19-28 ISSN 0038-0717 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Arctic * Nitrogen * Isotope * Mineralization * Nitrification * Tundra Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  5. Resistance and resilience of tundra plant communities to disturbance by winter seismic vehicles

    Felix, N.A.; Raynolds, M.K.; Jorgenson, J.C.; DuBois, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    Effects of winter seismic exploration on arctic tundra were evaluated on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, four to five growing seasons after disturbance. Plant cover, active layer depths, and track depression were measured at plots representing major tundra plant communities and different levels of initial disturbance. Results are compared with the initial effects reported earlier. Little resilience was seen in any vegetation type, with no clearly decreasing trends in community dissimilarity. Active layer depths remained greater on plots in all nonriparian vegetation types, and most plots still had visible trails. Decreases in plant cover persisted on most plots, although a few species showed recovery or increases in cover above predisturbance level. Moist sedge-shrub tundra and dryas terraces had the largest community dissimilarities initially, showing the least resistance to high levels of winter vehicle disturbance. Community dissimilarity continued to increase for five seasons in moist sedge-shrub tundra, with species composition changing to higher sedge cover and lower shrub cover. The resilience amplitude may have been exceeded on four plots which had significant track depression

  6. Response of CO2 exchange in a tussock tundra ecosystem to permafrost thaw and thermokarst development

    Jason Vogel; Edward A.G. Schuur; Christian Trucco; Hanna. Lee

    2009-01-01

    Climate change in high latitudes can lead to permafrost thaw, which in ice-rich soils can result in ground subsidence, or thermokarst. In interior Alaska, we examined seasonal and annual ecosystem CO2 exchange using static and automatic chamber measurements in three areas of a moist acidic tundra ecosystem undergoing varying degrees of permafrost...

  7. The effect of nutrient deposition on bacterial communities in Arctic tundra soil

    Barbara J. Campbell; Shawn W. Polson; Thomas E. Hanson; Michelle C. Mack; Edward A.G. Schuur

    2010-01-01

    The microbial communities of high-latitude ecosystems are expected to experience rapid changes over the next century due to climate warming and increased deposition of reactive nitrogen, changes that will likely affect microbial community structure and function. In moist acidic tundra (MAT) soils on the North Slope of the Brooks Range, Alaska, substantial losses of C...

  8. Movement of foraging Tundra Swans explained by spatial pattern in cryptic food densities

    Klaassen, R.H.G.; Nolet, B.A.; Bankert, D.

    2006-01-01

    We tested whether Tundra Swans use information on the spatial distribution of cryptic food items (belowground Sago pondweed tubers) to shape their movement paths. In a continuous environment, swans create their own food patches by digging craters, which they exploit in several feeding bouts. Series

  9. A reduced-order modeling approach to represent subgrid-scale hydrological dynamics for land-surface simulations: application in a polygonal tundra landscape

    Pau, G. S. H.; Bisht, G.; Riley, W. J.

    2014-09-01

    Existing land surface models (LSMs) describe physical and biological processes that occur over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. For example, biogeochemical and hydrological processes responsible for carbon (CO2, CH4) exchanges with the atmosphere range from the molecular scale (pore-scale O2 consumption) to tens of kilometers (vegetation distribution, river networks). Additionally, many processes within LSMs are nonlinearly coupled (e.g., methane production and soil moisture dynamics), and therefore simple linear upscaling techniques can result in large prediction error. In this paper we applied a reduced-order modeling (ROM) technique known as "proper orthogonal decomposition mapping method" that reconstructs temporally resolved fine-resolution solutions based on coarse-resolution solutions. We developed four different methods and applied them to four study sites in a polygonal tundra landscape near Barrow, Alaska. Coupled surface-subsurface isothermal simulations were performed for summer months (June-September) at fine (0.25 m) and coarse (8 m) horizontal resolutions. We used simulation results from three summer seasons (1998-2000) to build ROMs of the 4-D soil moisture field for the study sites individually (single-site) and aggregated (multi-site). The results indicate that the ROM produced a significant computational speedup (> 103) with very small relative approximation error (training the ROM. We also demonstrate that our approach: (1) efficiently corrects for coarse-resolution model bias and (2) can be used for polygonal tundra sites not included in the training data set with relatively good accuracy (< 1.7% relative error), thereby allowing for the possibility of applying these ROMs across a much larger landscape. By coupling the ROMs constructed at different scales together hierarchically, this method has the potential to efficiently increase the resolution of land models for coupled climate simulations to spatial scales consistent with

  10. Environmental Controls on Snow Cover Thickness and Water Equivalent in Two Sub-Arctic Mountain Catchments

    Cosgrove, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    The spatial variability of snow cover characteristics (depth, density, and snow water equivalent [SWE]) has paramount importance for the management of water resources in mountain environments. Passive microwave (PM) inference of SWE from space-borne instrumentation is increasingly used but the reliability of this technique remains limited in mountainous areas. Complex topography and the transition between forest and alpine tundra vegetation zones create large spatial heterogeneities in the sn...

  11. Sphingomonas antarctica sp. nov., isolated from Antarctic tundra soil.

    Huang, Yao; Wei, Ziyan; Danzeng, Wangmu; Kim, Myong Chol; Zhu, Guoxin; Zhang, Yumin; Liu, Zuobing; Peng, Fang

    2017-10-01

    Strain 200 T , isolated from a soil sample taken from Antarctic tundra soil around Zhongshan Station, was found to be a Gram-stain-negative, yellow-pigmented, catalase-positive, oxidase-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped and aerobic bacterium. Strain 200 T grew optimally at pH 7.0 and in the absence of NaCl on R2A. Its optimum growth temperature was 20 °C. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain 200 T belonged to the genus Sphingomonas. Strain 200 T showed the highest sequence similarities to Sphingomonas kyeonggiense THG-DT81 T (95.1 %) and Sphingomonas molluscorum KMM 3882 T (95.1 %). Chemotaxonomic analysis showed that strain 200 T had characteristics typical of members of the genus Sphingomonas. Ubiquinone 10 was the predominant respiratory quinone and sym-homospermidine was the polyamine. The major polar lipids were sphingoglycolipid, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylcholine. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was determined to be 60.9 mol%. Strain 200 T contained C16 : 0 (31.6 %), summed feature 8 (comprising C18 : 1ω7c and/or C18 : 1ω6c, 22.7 %), summed feature 3 (comprising C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c, 11.2 %), C18 : 0 (7.8 %) and C14 : 0 2OH (6.7 %) as the major cellular fatty acids. On the basis of phylogenetic analysis, and physiological and biochemical characterization, strain 200 T should be classified as representing a novel species of the genus Sphingomonas, for which the name Sphingomonasantarctica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 200 T (=CCTCC AB 2016064 T =KCTC 52488 T ).

  12. Predicting Changes in Arctic Tundra Vegetation: Towards an Understanding of Plant Trait Uncertainty

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Serbin, S.; Carman, T.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V.; Helene, G.; McGuire, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are currently undergoing unprecedented changes in both composition and distribution under a warming climate. Predicting how these dynamics may play out in the future is important since these vegetation shifts impact both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. More precise estimates of these future vegetation shifts is a key challenge due to both a scarcity of data with which to parameterize vegetation models, particularly in the Arctic, as well as a limited understanding of the importance of each of the model parameters and how they may vary over space and time. Here, we incorporate newly available field data from arctic Alaska into a dynamic vegetation model specifically developed to take into account a particularly wide array of plant species as well as the permafrost soils of the arctic tundra (the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model with Dynamic Vegetation and Dynamic Organic Soil, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model; DVM-DOS-TEM). We integrate the model within the Predicative Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), an open-source integrated ecological bioinformatics toolbox that facilitates the flows of information into and out of process models and model-data integration. We use PEcAn to evaluate the plant functional traits that contribute most to model variability based on a sensitivity analysis. We perform this analysis for the dominant types of tundra in arctic Alaska, including heath, shrub, tussock and wet sedge tundra. The results from this analysis will help inform future data collection in arctic tundra and reduce model uncertainty, thereby improving our ability to simulate Arctic vegetation structure and function in response to global change.

  13. Snowmelt runoff from northern alpine tundra hillslopes: major processes and methods of simulation

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In northern alpine tundra, large slope gradients, late-lying snow drifts and shallow soils overlying impermeable substrates all contribute to large hillslope runoff volumes during the spring freshet. Understanding the processes and pathways of hillslope runoff in this environment is, therefore, critical to understanding the water cycle within northern alpine tundra ecosystems. This study: (a presents the results of a field study on runoff from a sub-alpine tundra hillslope with a large snow drift during the spring melt period; (b identifies the major runoff processes that must be represented in simulations of snowmelt runoff from sub-alpine tundra hillslopes; (c describes how these processes can be represented in a numerical simulation model; and d compares field measurements with modelled output to validate or refute the conceptual understanding of runoff generation embodied in the process simulations. The study was conducted at Granger Creek catchment, 15 km south of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on a north-facing slope below a late-lying snow drift. For the freshet period, the major processes to be represented in a runoff model include the rate of meltwater release from the late-lying snowdrift, the elevation and thickness of the saturated layer, the magnitude of the soil permeability and its variation with depth. The daily cycle of net all-wave radiation was observed to drive the diurnal pulses of melt water from the drift; this, in turn, was found to control the daily pulses of flow through the hillslope subsurface and in the stream channel. The computed rate of frost table lowering fell within the observed values; however, there was wide variation among the measured frost table depths. Spatial variability in frost table depth would result in spatial variabilities in saturated layer depth and thickness, which would, in turn, produce variations in subsurface flow rates over the slope, including preferential flowpaths. Keywords

  14. Three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, as a possible paratenic host for salmonid nematodes in a subarctic lake.

    Braicovich, Paola E; Kuhn, Jesper A; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Marcogliese, David J

    2016-03-01

    In Takvatn, a subarctic lake in northern Norway, 35 of 162 three-spined sticklebacks examined were infected with 106 specimens of third-stage larvae of Philonema oncorhynchi. The prevalence and mean intensity of P. oncorhynchi were 10 % and 2.0 in 2013 and 24 % and 3.0 in 2014, respectively. A single specimen of Cystidicola farionis was found in an additional sample. While the latter is considered an accidental infection, three-spined sticklebacks may function as paratenic hosts of P. oncorhynchi, potentially enhancing its transmission to salmonids due to their central role in the lacustrine food web of this subarctic lake.

  15. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990--94 growing season (June--August) to determine the local and regional patterns of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar Arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993--94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993--94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990--91 growing seasons.

  16. Conceptualising the interactive effects of climate change and biological invasions on subarctic freshwater fish.

    Rolls, Robert J; Hayden, Brian; Kahilainen, Kimmo K

    2017-06-01

    Climate change and species invasions represent key threats to global biodiversity. Subarctic freshwaters are sentinels for understanding both stressors because the effects of climate change are disproportionately strong at high latitudes and invasion of temperate species is prevalent. Here, we summarize the environmental effects of climate change and illustrate the ecological responses of freshwater fishes to these effects, spanning individual, population, community and ecosystem levels. Climate change is modifying hydrological cycles across atmospheric, terrestrial and aquatic components of subarctic ecosystems, causing increases in ambient water temperature and nutrient availability. These changes affect the individual behavior, habitat use, growth and metabolism, alter population spawning and recruitment dynamics, leading to changes in species abundance and distribution, modify food web structure, trophic interactions and energy flow within communities and change the sources, quantity and quality of energy and nutrients in ecosystems. Increases in temperature and its variability in aquatic environments underpin many ecological responses; however, altered hydrological regimes, increasing nutrient inputs and shortened ice cover are also important drivers of climate change effects and likely contribute to context-dependent responses. Species invasions are a complex aspect of the ecology of climate change because the phenomena of invasion are both an effect and a driver of the ecological consequences of climate change. Using subarctic freshwaters as an example, we illustrate how climate change can alter three distinct aspects of species invasions: (1) the vulnerability of ecosystems to be invaded, (2) the potential for species to spread and invade new habitats, and (3) the subsequent ecological effects of invaders. We identify three fundamental knowledge gaps focused on the need to determine (1) how environmental and landscape characteristics influence the

  17. Geographic Distribution of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea along the Kuril Islands in the Western Subarctic Pacific

    Hongmei Jing

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Community composition and abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA in the ocean were affected by different physicochemical conditions, but their responses to physical barriers (such as a chain of islands were largely unknown. In our study, geographic distribution of the AOA from the surface photic zone to the deep bathypelagic waters in the western subarctic Pacific adjacent to the Kuril Islands was investigated using pyrosequencing based on the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA gene. Genotypes of clusters A and B dominated in the upper euphotic zone and the deep waters, respectively. Quantitative PCR assays revealed that the occurrence and ammonia-oxidizing activity of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA reached their maxima at the depth of 200 m, where a higher diversity and abundance of actively transcribed AOA was observed at the station located in the marginal sea exposed to more terrestrial input. Similar community composition of AOA observed at the two stations adjacent to the Kuril Islands maybe due to water exchange across the Bussol Strait. They distinct from the station located in the western subarctic gyre, where sub-cluster WCAII had a specific distribution in the surface water, and this sub-cluster seemed having a confined distribution in the western Pacific. Habitat-specific groupings of different WCB sub-clusters were observed reflecting the isolated microevolution existed in cluster WCB. The effect of the Kuril Islands on the phylogenetic composition of AOA between the Sea of Okhotsk and the western subarctic Pacific is not obvious, possibly because our sampling stations are near to the Bussol Strait, the main gateway through which water is exchanged between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific. The vertical and horizontal distribution patterns of AOA communities among stations along the Kuril Islands were essentially determined by the in situ prevailing physicochemical gradients along the two dimensions.

  18. Tolerance of an expanding subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa, to simulated caribou browsing.

    Emilie Champagne

    Full Text Available Densification of the shrub layer has been reported in many subarctic regions, raising questions about the implication for large herbivores and their resources. Shrubs can tolerate browsing and their level of tolerance could be affected by browsing and soils productivity, eventually modifying resource availability for the caribou. Our objective was to assess the compensatory growth potential of a subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa Michx., in relation with caribou browsing and nutriment availability for the plants. We used a simulated browsing (0, 25 and 75% of available shoots and nitrogen-fertilisation (0 and 10 g m(-2 experiment to test two main hypotheses linking tolerance to resource availability, the Compensatory Continuum Hypothesis and the Growth Rate Hypothesis as well as the predictions from the Limiting Resource Model. We seek to explicitly integrate the relative browsing pressure in our predictions since the amount of tissues removed could affect the capacity of long-lived plants to compensate. Birches fully compensated for moderate browsing with an overall leaf biomass similar to unbrowsed birches but undercompensated under heavy browsing pressure. The main mechanism explaining compensation appears to be the conversion of short shoots into long shoots. The leaf area increased under heavy browsing pressure but only led to undercompensation. Fertilisation for two consecutive years did not influence the response of birch, thus we conclude that our results support the LRM hypothesis of equal tolerance under both high and low nitrogen availability. Our results highlight that the potential for compensatory growth in dwarf birch is surpassed under heavy browsing pressure independently of the fertilisation regime. In the context of the worldwide decline in caribou herds, the reduction in browsing pressure could act synergistically with global climate change to promote the current shrub expansion reported in subarctic regions.

  19. [BIODIVERSITY OF ACANTHOCEPHALANS (ACANTHOCEPHALA) IN FRESHWATER FISHES OF ASIATIC SUB-ARCTIC REGION].

    Atrashkevich, G I; Mikhailova, E I; Orlovskaya, O M; Pospekhov, V V

    2016-01-01

    The analysis of taxonomical and ecological diversity of acanthocephalans in fishes of Asiatic sub-Arctic region freshwaters, summarizing changes in modern views on species composition, life cycles, and ecology of background groups of these parasites is given. A priority role of studies provided by O. N. Bauer and his scientific school in organization and development of these aspects of acanthocephalology is demonstrated. Special attention is paid to the assessment of acanthocephalan biodiversity of the genus Neoechinorhynchus, the background group of freshwater fish parasites of the Asiatic sub-Arctic region, and an original key for their species is given. The distribution of acanthocephalans of the genus Acanthocephalus in northeastern Asia is analyzed and prospective study of this parasite group, evolutionary associated with freshwater isopods of the genus Asellus as intermediate hosts, is outlined. The absence of documented evidences on intermediate hosts of other background parasites of freshwater fishes in the region, acanthocephalans of the genus Metechinorhynchus, is revealed. It is assumed that subsequent taxonomic revisions based both on morphological and molecular genetic studies are necessary for the reliable revealing of species composition in each genus of the background acanthocephalans from freshwater fishes of Northern Asia. Theoretical significance of the study of acanthocephalan life cycles and revealing their natural intermediate hosts for the reliable estimation of structural and functional organization of their host-parasite systems in different parts of the range is substantiated and the possibility of the distribution of taxonomic conclusions in new territories is analyzed. A brief annotated taxonomical list of freshwater acanthocephalans of the Asiatic sub-Arctic region is given.

  20. Response of a tundra ecosytem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990-94 growing season (June-August) to determine the local and regional patterns, of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990-91 growing seasons. Measurements were made on small (e.g. 0.5 m{sup 2}) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO{sub 2} exchange and respiration over diurnal and seasonal cycles, and a large spatial extent that incorporated both locally and regionally diverse tundra surface types. Measurements both within and between ecosystem types typically extended over soil water table depth and temperature gradients, allowing for the indirect analysis of the effects of anticipated climate change scenarios on net CO{sub 2} exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses.

  1. A mesoscale iron enrichment in the western subarctic Pacific induces a large centric diatom bloom.

    Tsuda, Atsushi; Takeda, Shigenobu; Saito, Hiroaki; Nishioka, Jun; Nojiri, Yukihiro; Kudo, Isao; Kiyosawa, Hiroshi; Shiomoto, Akihiro; Imai, Keiri; Ono, Tsuneo; Shimamoto, Akifumi; Tsumune, Daisuke; Yoshimura, Takeshi; Aono, Tatsuo; Hinuma, Akira; Kinugasa, Masatoshi; Suzuki, Koji; Sohrin, Yoshiki; Noiri, Yoshifumi; Tani, Heihachiro; Deguchi, Yuji; Tsurushima, Nobuo; Ogawa, Hiroshi; Fukami, Kimio; Kuma, Kenshi; Saino, Toshiro

    2003-05-09

    We have performed an in situ test of the iron limitation hypothesis in the subarctic North Pacific Ocean. A single enrichment of dissolved iron caused a large increase in phytoplankton standing stock and decreases in macronutrients and dissolved carbon dioxide. The dominant phytoplankton species shifted after the iron addition from pennate diatoms to a centric diatom, Chaetoceros debilis, that showed a very high growth rate, 2.6 doublings per day. We conclude that the bioavailability of iron regulates the magnitude of the phytoplankton biomass and the key phytoplankton species that determine the biogeochemical sensitivity to iron supply of high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll waters.

  2. Seasonal changes in nutrients, chlorophyll a and the phytoplankton assemblage of the western subarctic gyre in the Pacific Ocean

    Mochizuki, Mamiko; Shiga, Naonobu; Saito, Masaru; Imai, Keiri; Nojiri, Yukihiro

    The standing stock and species composition of phytoplankton (>10 μm) were studied using monthly water samples collected at Stn KNOT (Kyodo North Pacific Ocean Time Series; 44°N, 155°E) in the western subarctic gyre in the Pacific Ocean through June 1998 to June 1999 (except for January-April 1999) and January-February 2000. One-liter water samples were preserved in 1% neutrally buffered formalin. Identification and enumeration of phytoplankton were made with an inverted microscope. Nutrients did not appear to be depleted for phytoplakton growth during any season. The vertical distribution of phytoplankton was primarily restricted by the pycnocline, and the bulk of phytoplankton assemblage existed within the surface mixed layer. In July, however, some senescent cells were observed at 200 m. Phytoplankton abundance clearly showed a spring maximum (i.e. spring bloom) in May. The seasonal change in cell numbers, however, did not coincide closely with the change in chlorophyll a concentration. Centric diatoms, which were composed of Thalassiosira, Chaetoceros, and Coscinodiscus, dominated all year round, and showed temporal succession. Pennate diatoms (mostly Neodenticula seminae and Fragilariopsis) increased only during the spring bloom. Dinoflagellates (mostly Gymnodinium and Prorocentrum) were low in abundance, although they increased in summer when the phytoplankton standing stock was low. Silicoflagellate abundance was extremely low. Comparing the annual species composition of phytoplankton between Stn KNOT and Stn P (50°N, 145°W) in the Alaskan Gyre, there was a remarkable difference between the two sites. The phytoplankton assemblage at Stn P is characterized by a high abundance of Rhizosolenia alata and low abundance of Thalassiosira. In contrast, Thalassiosira dominates at Stn KNOT during most seasons.

  3. Atmospheric iron supply and enhanced vertical carbon flux in the NE subarctic Pacific: Is there a connection?

    Boyd, P. W.; Wong, C. S.; Merrill, J.; Whitney, F.; Snow, J.; Harrison, P. J.; Gower, J.

    1998-09-01

    Recent studies have confirmed the relationship between iron supply and phytoplankton growth rates in all three high-nitrate low-chlorophyll (HNLC) oceanic provinces. However, there is little evidence, so far, of the role of iron in altering the efficiency of the biological pump via increased downward export of particulate organic carbon (POC). The NE subarctic Pacific is unique among HNLC regions in that long time series pelagic observations and deep-moored sediment trap records exist which may provide the best opportunity thus far to test aspects of the iron hypothesis. Episodic elevated levels of chlorophyll a (> 2.0 μg L-1) were observed 6 times between 1964 and 1976 at the former site of Ocean Station Papa (OSP). In addition, between 1984 and 1990 on at least three occasions, concurrent pulses of POC and biogenic silica were recorded in deep-moored traps at OSP. Possible explanations for these events, such as lateral advection of more productive waters, iron-mediated blooms, or grazing by salp swarms are discussed and tested using an existing downward POC flux model. Owing to the episodic nature of such events, no available data are sufficiently comprehensive to unequivocally rule out any of these explanations. Nevertheless, from the data available, the occurrence of pelagic or deep water pulses, approximately once every 3 years, are most consistent with iron-mediated diatom blooms, and of the sinking of POC and biogenic silica (from such a bloom) to depth, respectively. A comparison of the timing of these iron-mediated pulses with that of the transport probabilities of atmospheric dust supply from Asia and Alaska provides an opportunity to assess the likelihood of a coupling between the atmosphere and the ocean.

  4. Seasonal variations in methane fluxes in response to summer warming and leaf litter addition in a subarctic heath ecosystem

    Pedersen, Emily Pickering; Elberling, Bo; Michelsen, Anders

    2017-08-01

    Methane (CH4) is a powerful greenhouse gas controlled by both biotic and abiotic processes. Few studies have investigated CH4 fluxes in subarctic heath ecosystems, and climate change-induced shifts in CH4 flux and the overall carbon budget are therefore largely unknown. Hence, there is an urgent need for long-term in situ experiments allowing for the study of ecosystem processes over time scales relevant to environmental change. Here we present in situ CH4 and CO2 flux measurements from a wet heath ecosystem in northern Sweden subjected to 16 years of manipulations, including summer warming with open-top chambers, birch leaf litter addition, and the combination thereof. Throughout the snow-free season, the ecosystem was a net sink of CH4 and CO2 (CH4 -0.27 mg C m-2 d-1; net ecosystem exchange -1827 mg C m-2 d-1), with highest CH4 uptake rates (-0.70 mg C m-2 d-1) during fall. Warming enhanced net CO2 flux, while net CH4 flux was governed by soil moisture. Litter addition and the combination with warming significantly increased CH4 uptake rates, explained by a pronounced soil drying effect of up to 32% relative to ambient conditions. Both warming and litter addition also increased the seasonal average concentration of dissolved organic carbon in the soil. The site was a carbon sink with a net uptake of 60 g C m-2 over the snow-free season. However, warming reduced net carbon uptake by 77%, suggesting that this ecosystem type might shift from snow-free season sink to source with increasing summer temperatures.

  5. Feeding ecology of mesopelagic zooplankton of the subtropical and subarctic North Pacific Ocean determined with fatty acid biomarkers

    Wilson, S. E.; Steinberg, D. K.; Chu, F.-L. E.; Bishop, J. K. B.

    2010-10-01

    Mesopelagic zooplankton may meet their nutritional and metabolic requirements in a number of ways including consumption of sinking particles, carnivory, and vertical migration. How these feeding modes change with depth or location, however, is poorly known. We analyzed fatty acid (FA) profiles to characterize zooplankton diet and large particle (>51 μm) composition in the mesopelagic zone (base of euphotic zone -1000 m) at two contrasting time-series sites in the subarctic (station K2) and subtropical (station ALOHA) Pacific Ocean. Total FA concentration was 15.5 times higher in zooplankton tissue at K2, largely due to FA storage by seasonal vertical migrators such as Neocalanus and Eucalanus. FA biomarkers specific to herbivory implied a higher plant-derived food source at mesotrophic K2 than at oligotrophic ALOHA. Zooplankton FA biomarkers specific to dinoflagellates and diatoms indicated that diatoms, and to a lesser extent, dinoflagellates were important food sources at K2. At ALOHA, dinoflagellate FAs were more prominent. Bacteria-specific FA biomarkers in zooplankton tissue were used as an indicator of particle feeding, and peaks were recorded at depths where known particle feeders were present at ALOHA (e.g., ostracods at 100-300 m). In contrast, depth profiles of bacterial FA were relatively constant with depth at K2. Diatom, dinoflagellate, and bacterial biomarkers were found in similar proportions in both zooplankton and particles with depth at both locations, providing additional evidence that mesopelagic zooplankton consume sinking particles. Carnivory indices were higher and increased significantly with depth at ALOHA, and exhibited distinct peaks at K2, representing an increase in dependence on other zooplankton for food in deep waters. Our results indicate that feeding ecology changes with depth as well as by location. These changes in zooplankton feeding ecology from the surface through the mesopelagic zone, and between contrasting environments

  6. The impact of climate change on ecosystem carbon dynamics at the Scandinavian mountain birch forest-tundra heath ecotone.

    Sjögersten, Sofie; Wookey, Philip A

    2009-02-01

    Changes in temperature and moisture resulting from climate change are likely to strongly modify the ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity in high-latitude areas, both through vegetation shifts and via direct warming effects on photosynthesis and decomposition. This paper offers a synthesis of research addressing the potential impacts of climate warming on soil processes and carbon fluxes at the forest-tundra ecotone in Scandinavia. Our results demonstrated higher rates of organic matter decomposition in mountain birch forest than in tundra heath soils, with markedly shallower organic matter horizons in the forest. Field and laboratory experiments suggest that increased temperatures are likely to increase CO2 efflux from both tundra and forest soil providing moisture availability does not become limiting for the decomposition process. Furthermore, colonization of tundra heath by mountain birch forest would increase rates of decomposition, and thus CO2 emissions, from the tundra heath soils, which currently store substantial amounts of potentially labile carbon. Mesic soils underlying both forest and tundra heath are currently weak sinks of atmospheric methane, but the strength of this sink could be increased with climate warming and/or drying.

  7. First report of Setaria tundra in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from the Iberian Peninsula inferred from molecular data: epidemiological implications.

    Angelone-Alasaad, Samer; Jowers, Michael J; Panadero, Rosario; Pérez-Creo, Ana; Pajares, Gerardo; Díez-Baños, Pablo; Soriguer, Ramón C; Morrondo, Patrocinio

    2016-09-29

    Filarioid nematode parasites are major health hazards with important medical, veterinary and economic implications. Recently, they have been considered as indicators of climate change. In this paper, we report the first record of Setaria tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula. Adult S. tundra were collected from the peritoneal cavity during the post-mortem examination of a 2 year-old male roe deer, which belonged to a private fenced estate in La Alcarria (Guadalajara, Spain). Since 2012, the area has suffered a high roe deer decline rate (75 %), for unknown reasons. Aiming to support the morphological identification and to determine the phylogenetic position of S. tundra recovered from the roe deer, a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene from the two morphologically identified parasites was amplified, sequenced and compared with corresponding sequences of other filarioid nematode species. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the isolate of S. tundra recovered was basal to all other formely reported Setaria tundra sequences. The presence of all other haplotypes in Northern Europe may be indicative of a South to North outbreak in Europe. This is the first report of S. tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula, with interesting phylogenetic results, which may have further implications in the epidemiological and genetic studies of these filarioid parasites. More studies are needed to explore the reasons and dynamics behind the rapid host/geographic expansion of the filarioid parasites in Europe.

  8. Identifying the tundra-forest border in the stomate record: an analysis of lake surface samples from the Yellowknife area, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Hansen, B.C.S. [Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis, MN (United States). Limnological Research Center; MacDonald, G.M. [California Univ., Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Botanical Sciences; Moser, K.A. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1996-05-01

    The relationship between conifer stomata and existing vegetation across tundra, forest-tundra, and closed zones in the Yellowknife area of the Northwest Territories was studied. Conifer stomata were identified in surface samples from lakes in the treeline zone, but were absent in samples from tundra lakes. Stomate analysis was recorded and the results were presented in a concentration diagram plotting stomate concentrations according to vegetation zone. Conifer stomate analysis was not able to resolve differences between forest-tundra and closed forest. Nevertheless, it was suggested that stomate analysis will become an important technique supplementing pollen analysis for reconstructing past tree-line changes since the presence of stomata in lakes make it possible to separate the tundra from forest-tundra and closed forest. The limited dispersal of conifer stomata permitted a better resolution of tree-line boundaries than did pollen. 13 refs., 3 figs.

  9. Building on Sub-Arctic Soil: Geopolymerization of Muskeg to a Densified Load-Bearing Composite.

    Waetzig, Gregory R; Cho, Junsang; Lacroix, Max; Banerjee, Sarbajit

    2017-11-07

    The marshy water-saturated soil typical of the sub-Arctic represents a considerable impediment to the construction of roads, thereby greatly hindering human habitation and geological excavation. Muskeg, the native water-laden topsoil characteristic of the North American sub-Arctic, represents a particularly vexing challenge for road construction. Muskeg must either be entirely excavated, or for direct construction on muskeg, a mix of partial excavation and gradual compaction with the strategic placement of filling materials must be performed. Here, we demonstrate a novel and entirely reversible geopolymerization method for reinforcing muskeg with wood fibers derived from native vegetation with the addition of inorganic silicate precursors and without the addition of extraneous metal precursors. A continuous siloxane network is formed that links together the muskeg, wood fibers, and added silicates yielding a load-bearing and low-subsidence composite. The geopolymerization approach developed here, based on catalyzed formation of a siloxane network with further incorporation of cellulose, allows for an increase of density as well as compressive strength while reducing the compressibility of the composite.

  10. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Jonas J Lembrechts

    Full Text Available Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  11. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Lembrechts, Jonas J; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  12. Wintertime phytoplankton bloom in the Subarctic Pacific supported by continental margin iron

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K.B.; Henning, Cara C.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Waychunas, Glenn A.; Fung, Inez

    2004-01-01

    Heightened biological activity was observed in February 1996 in the high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) subarctic North Pacific Ocean, a region that is thought to be iron-limited. Here we provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that Ocean Station Papa (OSP) in the subarctic Pacific received a lateral supply of particulate iron from the continental margin off the Aleutian Islands in the winter, coincident with the observed biological bloom. Synchrotron X-ray analysis was used to describe the physical form, chemistry, and depth distributions of iron in size fractionated particulate matter samples. The analysis reveals that discrete micron-sized iron-rich hotspots are ubiquitous in the upper 200m at OSP, more than 900km from the closest coast. The specifics of the chemistry and depth profiles of the Fe hot spots trace them to the continental margins. We thus hypothesize that iron hotspots are a marker for the delivery of iron from the continental margin. We confirm the delivery of continental margin iron to the open ocean using an ocean general circulation model with an iron-like tracer source at the continental margin. We suggest that iron from the continental margin stimulated a wintertime phytoplankton bloom, partially relieving the HNLC condition

  13. The transformation and fate of sub-Arctic microphytobenthos carbon revealed through 13C-labeling

    Oakes, Joanne M.; Rysgaard, Søren; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2016-01-01

    Microphytobenthos (MPB) at higher latitudes has been poorly studied. This study used pulse-chase C-13-labeling to investigate the production, processing, and fate of MPB-derived carbon (MPB-C) in sub-Arctic intertidal sediments over 31 d. Gross primary production (2.1 mmolCm(-2)h(-1)+/- 0.4 mmol...... accounted for49.8% of this C-13. The C-13 content of sediment organic carbon declined over time, but>31% of the C-13 fixed within the first tidal cycle remained after 31 d, suggesting that sub-Arctic MPB may contribute to coastal carbon retention during the productive season. Over 21 d, 10.6% of the fixed C......-13 was removed via DIC fluxes and 0.3% via DOC fluxes from inundated sediment, and 0.6% as CO2 from exposed sediment. The greatest loss of C-13 (38.2%) was via unmeasured pathways, including resuspension and/or removal by mobile consumers. The rates of MPB-C production and the relative importance...

  14. Evidences of Seasonal Variation in Altimetry Derived Ocean Tides in the Subarctic Ocean

    Hok Sum Fok

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available While the barotropic ocean tides in the deep ocean are well modeled to ~2 cm RMS, accurate tidal prediction in the ice-covered polar oceans and near coastal regions remain elusive. A notable reason is that the most accurate satellite altimeters (TOPEX/Jason-1/-2, whose orbits are optimized to minimize the tidal aliasing effect, have spatial coverage limited to largely outside of the polar ocean. Here, we update the assessment of tidal models using 7 contemporary global and regional models, and show that the altimetry sea surface height (SSH anomaly residual after tidal correction is 9 - 12 cm RMS in the Subarctic Ocean. We then address the hypothesis whether plausible evidence of variable tidal signals exist in the seasonally ice-covered Subarctic Ocean, where the sea ice cover is undergoing rapid thinning. We first found a difference in variance reduction for multi-mission altimeter SSH anomaly residuals during the summer and winter seasons, with the residual during winter season 15 - 30% larger than that during the summer season. Experimental seasonal ocean tide solutions derived from satellite altimetry reveals that the recovered winter and summer tidal constituents generally differ by a few cm in amplitude and tens of degrees in phase. Relatively larger seasonal tidal patterns, in particular for M2, S2 and K1 tides, have been identified in the Chukchi Sea study region near eastern Siberia, coincident with the seasonal presence and movement of sea ice.

  15. The importance of colony structure versus shoot morphology for the water balance of 22 subarctic bryophyte species

    Elumeeva, Tatiana G.; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.; During, Heinjo J.; Cornelissen, Johannes H.C.

    Questions: What are the water economy strategies of the dominant subarctic bryophytes in terms of colony and shoot traits? Can colony water retention capacity be predicted from morphological traits of both colonies and separate shoots? Are suites of water retention traits consistently related to

  16. Experimentally increased nutrient availability at the permafrost thaw front selectively enhances biomass production of deep-rooting subarctic peatland species

    Keuper, Frida; Dorrepaal, Ellen; van Bodegom, Peter M.; van Logtestijn, Richard; Venhuizen, Gemma; van Hal, Jurgen; Aerts, Rien

    2017-01-01

    Climate warming increases nitrogen (N) mineralization in superficial soil layers (the dominant rooting zone) of subarctic peatlands. Thawing and subsequent mineralization of permafrost increases plant-available N around the thaw-front. Because plant production in these peatlands is N-limited, such

  17. Sub-arctic hydrology and climate change : a case study of the Tana River Basin in Northern Fennoscandia

    Dankers, Rutger

    2002-01-01

    The most significant changes in climate, due to the well-known enhanced greenhouse effect, are generally expected to occur at northern high latitudes. Sub-arctic environments, that are dominated by the presence of a seasonal snow cover, may therefore be particularly sensitive to global warming. The

  18. Soil bacterial community and functional shifts in response to altered snowpack in moist acidic tundra of northern Alaska

    Ricketts, Michael P.; Poretsky, Rachel S.; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A.

    2016-09-01

    Soil microbial communities play a central role in the cycling of carbon (C) in Arctic tundra ecosystems, which contain a large portion of the global C pool. Climate change predictions for Arctic regions include increased temperature and precipitation (i.e. more snow), resulting in increased winter soil insulation, increased soil temperature and moisture, and shifting plant community composition. We utilized an 18-year snow fence study site designed to examine the effects of increased winter precipitation on Arctic tundra soil bacterial communities within the context of expected ecosystem response to climate change. Soil was collected from three pre-established treatment zones representing varying degrees of snow accumulation, where deep snow ˜ 100 % and intermediate snow ˜ 50 % increased snowpack relative to the control, and low snow ˜ 25 % decreased snowpack relative to the control. Soil physical properties (temperature, moisture, active layer thaw depth) were measured, and samples were analysed for C concentration, nitrogen (N) concentration, and pH. Soil microbial community DNA was extracted and the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to reveal phylogenetic community differences between samples and determine how soil bacterial communities might respond (structurally and functionally) to changes in winter precipitation and soil chemistry. We analysed relative abundance changes of the six most abundant phyla (ranging from 82 to 96 % of total detected phyla per sample) and found four (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Chloroflexi) responded to deepened snow. All six phyla correlated with at least one of the soil chemical properties (% C, % N, C : N, pH); however, a single predictor was not identified, suggesting that each bacterial phylum responds differently to soil characteristics. Overall, bacterial community structure (beta diversity) was found to be associated with snow accumulation treatment and all soil chemical properties. Bacterial

  19. Seasonal and Downslope Changes in the Pore Water Geochemistry of Tundra Soils Near Nome, Alaska

    Philben, M. J.; Zheng, J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Gu, B.

    2017-12-01

    Thawing permafrost is exposing vast stores of organic matter to decomposition in previously frozen tundra soils. In low-relief and poorly drained areas, the complexity of microbial metabolism under anaerobic conditions complicates the prediction of resulting CO2 and CH4 emissions. To improve this understanding, we investigated the dissolved gas and major ion concentrations and DOM composition in depth profiles of soil pore water collected from the Teller Road site near Nome, AK, as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE)-Arctic. Pathways of anaerobic organic matter degradation were inferred based on two complementary approaches: first, we compared the composition of soil pore waters of saturated areas in the peat plateau and the base of the hillslope, collected early and late in the thaw season (July and September) to assess seasonal changes in the soil solution chemistry. CH4 and low molecular weight organic acids (e.g., acetate, formate, and propionate) were both near or below the detection limit in July but accumulated later in the season. In contrast, SO42- and Fe(III) concentrations were high in July and low in September, while Fe(II) was higher in September. These results suggest SO42- and Fe(III) reduction were the primary pathways for anaerobic respiration early in the thaw season, while methanogenesis increased in September as labile organic acids accumulated. Second, we assessed the change in DOM composition in a transect of piezometers, capturing the degradation of organic matter during transport down a hillslope. The DOC concentration did not change, but SUVA254 declined and the organic acid concentration increased downslope. In addition, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy indicated the ratio of carboxyl to amide and aromatic functional groups increased downslope. These parameters show that although there was no net loss of DOC along the transect, it was transformed to less aromatic and potentially more labile forms. Together, these

  20. Pristine Arctic: Background mapping of PAHs, PAH metabolites and inorganic trace elements in the North-Atlantic Arctic and sub-Arctic coastal environment

    Jörundsdóttir, Hrönn Ólína, E-mail: hronn.o.jorundsdottir@matis.is [Matis Ltd., Icelandic Food and Biotech R and D, Vinlandsleid 12, 113 Reykjavik (Iceland); Jensen, Sophie [Matis Ltd., Icelandic Food and Biotech R and D, Vinlandsleid 12, 113 Reykjavik (Iceland); Hylland, Ketil; Holth, Tor Fredrik [Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo (Norway); Gunnlaugsdóttir, Helga [Matis Ltd., Icelandic Food and Biotech R and D, Vinlandsleid 12, 113 Reykjavik (Iceland); Svavarsson, Jörundur [University of Iceland, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Askja - Natural Science Building, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík (Iceland); Ólafsdóttir, Ásdís [The University of Iceland´s Research Centre in Sudurnes, Gardvegi 1, 245 Sandgerdi (Iceland); El-Taliawy, Haitham [Matis Ltd., Icelandic Food and Biotech R and D, Vinlandsleid 12, 113 Reykjavik (Iceland); Rigét, Frank; Strand, Jakob [Department of Bioscience, Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Nyberg, Elisabeth; Bignert, Anders [Swedish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 50007, 104 05 Stockholm (Sweden); Hoydal, Katrin S. [The Faroese Environment Agency, Traðagøta 38, P.O. Box 2048, FO-165 Argir, the Faroe Islands (Faroe Islands); Halldórsson, Halldór Pálmar [The University of Iceland´s Research Centre in Sudurnes, Gardvegi 1, 245 Sandgerdi (Iceland)

    2014-09-15

    As the ice cap of the Arctic diminishes due to global warming, the polar sailing route will be open larger parts of the year. These changes are likely to increase the pollution load on the pristine Arctic due to large vessel traffic from specific contaminant groups, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A well-documented baseline for PAH concentrations in the biota in the remote regions of the Nordic Seas and the sub-Arctic is currently limited, but will be vital in order to assess future changes in PAH contamination in the region. Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) were collected from remote sites in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Sweden as well as from urban sites in the same countries for comparison. Cod (Gadus morhua) was caught north of Iceland and along the Norwegian coast. Sixteen priority PAH congeners and the inorganic trace elements arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead were analysed in the blue mussel samples as well as PAH metabolites in cod bile. Σ{sub 16}PAHs ranged from 28 ng/g dry weight (d.w.) (Álftafjörður, NW Iceland) to 480 ng/g d.w. (Ísafjörður, NW Iceland). Mussel samples from Mjóifjörður, East Iceland and Maarmorilik, West Greenland, contained elevated levels of Σ{sub 16}PAHs, 370 and 280 ng/g d.w., respectively. Levels of inorganic trace elements varied with highest levels of arsenic in mussels from Ísafjörður, Iceland (79 ng/g d.w.), cadmium in mussels from Mjóifjörður, Iceland (4.3 ng/g d.w.), mercury in mussels from Sørenfjorden, Norway (0.23 ng/g d.w.) and lead in mussels from Maarmorilik, Greenland (21 ng/g d.w.). 1-OH-pyrene was only found above limits of quantification (0.5 ng/mL) in samples from the Norwegian coast, ranging between 44 and 140 ng/ml bile. Generally, PAH levels were low in mussels from the remote sites investigated in the study, which indicates limited current effect on the environment. - Highlights: • Low levels of PAHs in blue mussels from remote areas of the Arctic. • Low

  1. Response of NDVI, biomass, and ecosystem gas exchange to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge tundra.

    Boelman, Natalie T; Stieglitz, Marc; Rueth, Heather M; Sommerkorn, Martin; Griffin, Kevin L; Shaver, Gaius R; Gamon, John A

    2003-05-01

    This study explores the relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), aboveground plant biomass, and ecosystem C fluxes including gross ecosystem production (GEP), ecosystem respiration (ER) and net ecosystem production. We measured NDVI across long-term experimental treatments in wet sedge tundra at the Toolik Lake LTER site, in northern Alaska. Over 13 years, N and P were applied in factorial experiments (N, P and N + P), air temperature was increased using greenhouses with and without N + P fertilizer, and light intensity (photosynthetically active photon flux density) was reduced by 50% using shade cloth. Within each treatment plot, NDVI, aboveground biomass and whole-system CO(2) flux measurements were made at the same sampling points during the peak-growing season of 2001. We found that across all treatments, NDVI is correlated with aboveground biomass ( r(2)=0.84), GEP ( r(2)=0.75) and ER ( r(2)=0.71), providing a basis for linking remotely sensed NDVI to aboveground biomass and ecosystem carbon flux.

  2. The response of tundra springtails (Collembola, Hexapoda) to human activity on the Murman coast of the Kola Penisula, Russia

    Olejniczak, Izabella; Boniecki, Paweł; Kaliszewicz, Anita; Panteleeva, Ninel

    2018-03-01

    This study was carried out in the Dalne Zelentsy settlement (69°07‧N, 36°03‧E) on the Barents Sea of the Kola Penisula in Russia. Three transects were established: the 'new garden transect'; the 'old garden transect'; and the 'settlement transect'. Overall, the number of springtails increased with distance from the 'settlement' and decreased from the 'old garden' towards the tundra. However, in the case of the 'new garden transect' there were no clear trends in springtail abundance. Eleven species of springtail were found, with Parisotoma notabilis being found at each of the studied areas along the transects. Trends in the species diversity of the springtail communities were not clear, and the values of H‧ ranged from 1.36 to 2.08. The springtail communities located 10 m from the 'new garden' and the 'old garden' were characterized by low species diversity compared with the other sites along the transects (H‧ values of 1.36 and 1.67, respectively). There were no differences in species diversity among the springtail communities along the 'settlement transect'.

  3. InSAR detects increase in surface subsidence caused by an Arctic tundra fire

    Liu, Lin; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zebker, Howard A.; Williams, Christopher A.; Rogan, John; Zhang, Tingjun

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance in the Arctic tundra and boreal forests, having a significant impact on soil hydrology, carbon cycling, and permafrost dynamics. This study explores the use of the microwave Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to map and quantify ground surface subsidence caused by the Anaktuvuk River fire on the North Slope of Alaska. We detected an increase of up to 8 cm of thaw-season ground subsidence after the fire, which is due to a combination of thickened active layer and permafrost thaw subsidence. Our results illustrate the effectiveness and potential of using InSAR to quantify fire impacts on the Arctic tundra, especially in regions underlain by ice-rich permafrost. Our study also suggests that surface subsidence is a more comprehensive indicator of fire impacts on ice-rich permafrost terrain than changes in active layer thickness alone.

  4. Responses of non-methane biogenic volatile organic compound emissions to climate change in boreal and subarctic ecosystems

    Faubert, P.

    2010-07-01

    Non-methane biogenic volatile organic compound emissions (BVOCs) have important roles in the global atmospheric chemistry but their feedbacks to climate change are still unknown. This thesis reports one of the first estimates of BVOC emissions from boreal and subarctic ecosystems. Most importantly, this thesis assesses the BVOC emission responses to four effects of climate change in these ecosystems: (1) the direct effect of warming, and its indirect effects via (2) water table drawdown, (3) change in the vegetation composition, and (4) enhanced UV-B radiation. BVOC emissions were measured using a conventional chamber method in which the compounds were collected on adsorbent and later analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. On a subarctic heath, warming by only 1.9-2.5 degC doubled the monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions. Such a high increase of BVOC emissions under a conservative warming cannot be predicted by the current models, which underlines the importance of a focus on BVOC emissions from the Subarctic under climate change. On a subarctic peatland, enhanced UV-B did not affect the BVOC emissions but the water table level exerted the major effect. The water table drawdown experimentally applied on boreal peatland microcosms decreased the emissions of monoterpenes and other VOCs (BVOCs with a lifetime>1 d) for the hollows (wet microsites) and that of all BVOC groups for the lawns (moderately wet microsites). The warming treatment applied on the lawn microcosms decreased the isoprene emission. The removal of vascular plants in the hummock (dry microsites) microcosms decreased the emissions of monoterpenes while the emissions between the microcosms covered with Sphagnum moss and bare peat were not different. In conclusion, the results presented in this thesis indicate that climate change has complex effects on the BVOC emissions. These results make a significant contribution to improving the modeling of BVOC emissions for a better understanding of

  5. Regional and landscape-scale variability of Landsat-observed vegetation dynamics in northwest Siberian tundra

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A

    2014-01-01

    Widespread increases in Arctic tundra productivity have been documented for decades using coarse-scale satellite observations, but finer-scale observations indicate that changes have been very uneven, with a high degree of landscape- and regional-scale heterogeneity. Here we analyze time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) observed by Landsat (1984–2012), to assess landscape- and regional-scale variability of tundra vegetation dynamics in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic, a little-studied region with varied soils, landscape histories, and permafrost attributes. We also estimate spatio-temporal rates of land-cover change associated with expansion of tall alder (Alnus) shrublands, by integrating Landsat time-series with very-high-resolution imagery dating to the mid-1960s. We compiled Landsat time-series for eleven widely-distributed landscapes, and performed linear regression of NDVI values on a per-pixel basis. We found positive net NDVI trends (‘greening’) in nine of eleven landscapes. Net greening occurred in alder shrublands in all landscapes, and strong greening tended to correspond to shrublands that developed since the 1960s. Much of the spatial variability of greening within landscapes was linked to landscape physiography and permafrost attributes, while between-landscape variability largely corresponded to differences in surficial geology. We conclude that continued increases in tundra productivity in the region are likely in upland tundra landscapes with fine-textured, cryoturbated soils; these areas currently tend to support discontinuous vegetation cover, but are highly susceptible to rapid increases in vegetation cover, as well as land-cover changes associated with the development of tall shrublands. (paper)

  6. Herbivore Impact on Tundra Plant Community Dynamics Using Long-term Remote Sensing Observation

    Yu, Q.; Engstrom, R.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic tundra biome is now experiencing dramatic environmental changes accentuated by summer sea-ice decline, permafrost thaw, and shrub expansion. Multi-decadal time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a spectral metric of vegetation productivity) shows an overall "greening" trend across the Arctic tundra biome. Regional trends in climate plausibly explain large-scale patterns of increasing plant productivity, as diminished summer sea-ice extent warms the adjacent land causing tundra vegetation to respond positively (increased photosynthetic aboveground biomass). However, at more local scales, there is a great deal of spatial variability in NDVI trends that likely reflects differences in hydrology and soil conditions, disturbance history, and use by wildlife and humans. Particularly, habitat use by large herbivores, such as reindeer and caribou, has large impacts on vegetation dynamics at local and regional scales, but the role of herbivores in modulating the response of vegetation to warming climate has received little attention. This study investigates regional tundra plant community dynamics within inhabits of different sizes of wild caribou/reindeer herds across the Arctic using GIMMS NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) 3g data product. The Taimyr herd in Russia is one of the largest herds in the world with a population increase from 450,000 in 1975 to about 1 million animals in 2000. The population of the porcupine caribou herd has fluctuated in the past three decades between 100,000 and 180,000. Time-series of the maximum NDVI within the inhabit area of the Taimyr herd has increased about 2% per decade over the past three decades, while within the inhabit area of the Porcupine herd the maximum NDVI has increased about 5% per decade. Our results indicate that the impact of large herbivores can be detected from space and further analyses on seasonal dynamics of vegetation indices and herbivore behavior may provide more

  7. Soils of Sub-Antarctic tundras: diversity and basic chemical characteristics

    Abakumov, Evgeny; Vlasov, Dmitry; Mukhametova, Nadezhda

    2014-05-01

    Antarctic peninsula is known as specific part of Antarctica, which is characterizes by humid and relatively warm climate of so-called sub Antarctic (maritime) zone. Annual precipitation and long above zero period provides the possibility of sustainable tundra's ecosystem formation. Therefore, the soil diversity of these tundra landscapes is maximal in the whole Antarctic. Moreover, the thickness of parent material debris's is also highest and achieves a 1 or 2 meters as highest. The presence of higher vascular plants Deshampsia antarctica which is considered as one of the main edificators provides the development of humus accumulation in upper solum. Penguins activity provides an intensive soil fertilization and development of plant communities with increased density. All these factors leads to formation of specific and quite diverse soil cover in sub Antarctic tundra's. These ecosystems are presented by following permafrost affected soils: Leptosols, Lithoosols, Crysols, Gleysols, Peats and Ornhitosols. Also the post Ornhitosols are widely spreaded in subantarcic ecosystems, they forms on the penguin rockeries during the plant succession development, leaching of nutrients and organic matter mineralization. "Amphibious" soils are specific for seasonal lakes, which evaporates in the end if Australian summer. These soils have specific features of bio sediments and soils as well. Soil chemical characteristic as well as organic matter features discussed in comparison with Antacrtic continental soil in presentation.

  8. Analysis of nitrogen saturation potential in Rocky Mountain tundra and forest: implications for aquatic systems

    Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Parton, William J.

    1994-01-01

    We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m−2 y−1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.

  9. Humic substances elemental composition of selected taiga and tundra soils from Russian European North-East

    Lodygin Evgeny

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Soils of Russian European North were investigated in terms of stability and quality of organic matter as well as in terms of soils organic matter elemental composi­tion. Therefore, soil humic acids (HAs, extracted from soils of different natural zones of Russian North-East were studied to characterize the degree of soil organic matter stabilization along a zonal gradient. HAs were extracted from soil of different zonal environments of the Komi Republic: south, middle and north taiga as well as south tundra. Data on elemental composition of humic acids and fulvic acids (FAs extracted from different soil types were obtained to assess humus formation mechanisms in the soils of taiga and tundra of the European North-East of Russia. The specificity of HAs elemental composition are discussed in relation to environmental conditions. The higher moisture degree of taiga soils results in the higher H/C ratio in humic substances. This reflects the reduced microbiologic activity in Albeluvisols sods and subsequent conser­vation of carbohydrate and amino acid fragments in HAs. HAs of tundra soils, shows the H/C values decreasing within the depth of the soils, which reflects increasing of aromatic compounds in HA structure of mineral soil horizons. FAs were more oxidized and contains less carbon while compared with the HAs. Humic acids, extracted from soil of different polar and boreal environments differ in terms of elemental composition winch reflects the climatic and hydrological regimes of humification.

  10. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Primary Productivity (NDVI) of Coastal Alaskan Tundra: Decreased Vegetation Growth Following Earlier Snowmelt

    Gamon, John A.; Huemmrich, K. Fred; Stone, Robert S.; Tweedie, Craig E.

    2015-01-01

    In the Arctic, earlier snowmelt and longer growing seasons due to warming have been hypothesized to increase vegetation productivity. Using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from both field and satellite measurements as an indicator of vegetation phenology and productivity, we monitored spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation growth for a coastal wet sedge tundra site near Barrow, Alaska over three growing seasons (2000-2002). Contrary to expectation, earlier snowmelt did not lead to increased productivity. Instead, productivity was associated primarily with precipitation and soil moisture, and secondarily with growing degree days, which, during this period, led to reduced growth in years with earlier snowmelt. Additional moisture effects on productivity and species distribution, operating over a longer time scale, were evident in spatial NDVI patterns associated with microtopography. Lower, wetter regions dominated by graminoids were more productive than higher, drier locations having a higher percentage of lichens and mosses, despite the earlier snowmelt at the more elevated sites. These results call into question the oft-stated hypothesis that earlier arctic growing seasons will lead to greater vegetation productivity. Rather, they agree with an emerging body of evidence from recent field studies indicating that early-season, local environmental conditions, notably moisture and temperature, are primary factors determining arctic vegetation productivity. For this coastal arctic site, early growing season conditions are strongly influenced by microtopography, hydrology, and regional sea ice dynamics, and may not be easily predicted from snowmelt date or seasonal average air temperatures alone. Our comparison of field to satellite NDVI also highlights the value of in-situ monitoring of actual vegetation responses using field optical sampling to obtain detailed information on surface conditions not possible from satellite observations alone.

  11. We adapt… but is it good or bad? Locating the political ecology and social-ecological systems debate in reindeer herding in the Swedish Sub-Arctic.

    Gallardo, Gloria; Saunders, Fred; Sokolova, Tatiana; Börebäck, Kristina; van Laerhoven, F.S.J.; Kokko, Suvi; Tuvendal, Magnus

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Reindeer herding (RDH) is a livelihood strategy deeply connected to Sami cultural tradition. This article explores the implications of two theoretical and methodological approaches for grasping complex socioenvironmental relationships of RDH in Subarctic Sweden. Based on joint fieldwork,

  12. The Potential Use of Agroforestry Community Gardens as a Sustainable Import-Substitution Strategy for Enhancing Food Security in Subarctic Ontario, Canada

    Maren Oelbermann

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The high prevalence of food insecurity experienced by northern First Nations partially results from dependence on an expensive import-based food system that typically lacks nutritional quality and further displaces traditional food systems. In the present study, the feasibility of import substitution by Agroforestry Community Gardens (AFCGs as socio-ecologically and culturally sustainable means of enhancing food security was explored through a case study of Fort Albany First Nation in subarctic Ontario, Canada. Agroforestry is a diverse tree-crop agricultural system that has enhanced food security in the tropics and subtropics. Study sites were selected for long-term agroforestry research to compare Salix spp. (willow-dominated AFCG plots to a “no tree” control plot in Fort Albany. Initial soil and vegetative analysis revealed a high capacity for all sites to support mixed produce with noted modifications, as well as potential competitive and beneficial willow-crop interactions. It is anticipated that inclusion of willow trees will enhance the long-term productive capacity of the AFCG test plots. As an adaptable and dynamic system, AFCGs have potential to act as a more reliable local agrarian system and a refuge for culturally significant plants in high-latitude First Nation socio-ecological systems, which are particularly vulnerable to rapid cultural, climatic, and ecological change.

  13. Modeling dynamics of tundra plant communities on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia, in response to climate change and grazing pressure

    Yu, Q; Epstein, H E; Frost, G V; Walker, D A; Forbes, B C

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the responses of the arctic tundra biome to a changing climate requires knowledge of the complex interactions among the climate, soils and biological system. This study investigates the individual and interaction effects of climate change and reindeer grazing across a variety of climate zones and soil texture types on tundra vegetation community dynamics using an arctic vegetation model that incorporates the reindeer diet, where grazing is a function of both foliar nitrogen concentration and reindeer forage preference. We found that grazing is important, in addition to the latitudinal climate gradient, in controlling tundra plant community composition, explaining about 13% of the total variance in model simulations for all arctic tundra subzones. The decrease in biomass of lichen, deciduous shrub and graminoid plant functional types caused by grazing is potentially dampened by climate warming. Moss biomass had a nonlinear response to increased grazing intensity, and such responses were stronger when warming was present. Our results suggest that evergreen shrubs may benefit from increased grazing intensity due to their low palatability, yet a growth rate sensitivity analysis suggests that changes in nutrient uptake rates may result in different shrub responses to grazing pressure. Heavy grazing caused plant communities to shift from shrub tundra toward moss, graminoid-dominated tundra in subzones C and D when evergreen shrub growth rates were decreased in the model. The response of moss, lichen and forbs to warming varied across the different subzones. Initial vegetation responses to climate change during transient warming are different from the long term equilibrium responses due to shifts in the controlling mechanisms (nutrient limitation versus competition) within tundra plant communities.

  14. Paleoproductivity and intermediate-water ventilation in the subarctic Northwest Pacific during the last deglaciation

    Khim, B.; Ikehara, K.; Sagawa, T.; Shibahara, A.; Yamamoto, M.

    2010-12-01

    Laminated sediments during the last deglaciation in the subarctic North Pacific indicate significant depletion of dissolved oxygen concentration at intermediate water depths. Such a strong oxygen minimum zone results primarily from a combination of high surface water productivity and poor ventilation of intermediate waters. We investigated a variety of paleoclimatic proxies using about 8-m long piston core sediment (GH02-1030; 42o13.770N, 144o12.530E; water depth, 1212 m) obtained from the continental slope off Tokachi (eastern Hokkaido Island), which is the main path of the southwestward Oyashio Current in the subarctic Northwest Pacific. Laminated sediments were identified at the two horizons in the core GH02-1030; the upper one at 11.4-12.2 cal.kyr BP and the lower one at 14.1-14.7 cal.kyr BP, corresponding to Bølling-Allerød (B/A) and Preboreal (PB), respectively. Between these laminated layers, Younger Dryas occurred. Both laminated sediment layers are characterized by Bolivina tumida, B. pacifica, and Buliminella tenuata, indicating dysoxic bottom water conditions. Increased Mg/Ca-derived intermediate-water temperature and δ18OW values at B/A and PB periods suggest the poor ventilation of intermediate water because of the surface water freshening (i.e., decrease of surface-water salinity). UK'37-derived temperature record also supports the increase of surface-water temperature during B/A and PB intervals. During the last deglaciation, short-chain C14-C18 n-fatty acids, derived mainly from marine organisms, showed higher concentrations, indicating the increased surface-water production, and at the same time, abundant lignin reflected more contribution of terrigenous organic matter, supporting increased freshwater discharge. Variation of CaCO3 contents show remarkable double peaks, corresponding to B/A and PB periods, respectively, leading to the increase of TOC contents. Opal contents also follow similar pattern to CaCO3 contents, but are much less than the

  15. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events

    Choudhary, Sonal, E-mail: S.Choudhary@sheffield.ac.uk [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Management School, University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL (United Kingdom); Blaud, Aimeric [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Osborn, A. Mark [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083 (Australia); Press, Malcolm C. [School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M15 6BH (United Kingdom); Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem {sup 15}N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m{sup −2} yr{sup −1}, applied as {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup 15}NO{sub 3} in Svalbard (79{sup °}N), during the summer. Separate applications of {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup −} and {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +} were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total {sup 15}N applied was recovered after one growing season (~ 90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants > vascular plants > organic soil > litter > mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of {sup 15}N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup −} than {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +}, suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events

  16. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events

    Choudhary, Sonal; Blaud, Aimeric; Osborn, A. Mark; Press, Malcolm C.; Phoenix, Gareth K.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem "1"5N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m"−"2 yr"−"1, applied as "1"5NH_4"1"5NO_3 in Svalbard (79"°N), during the summer. Separate applications of "1"5NO_3"− and "1"5NH_4"+ were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total "1"5N applied was recovered after one growing season (~ 90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants > vascular plants > organic soil > litter > mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of "1"5N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater "1"5NO_3"− than "1"5NH_4"+, suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication. - Highlights: • High Arctic tundra demonstrated a

  17. Effect of Freeze-Thaw Cycles on Soil Nitrogen Reactive Transport in a Polygonal Arctic Tundra Ecosystem at Barrow AK Using 3-D Coupled ALM-PFLOTRAN

    Yuan, F.; Wang, G.; Painter, S. L.; Tang, G.; Xu, X.; Kumar, J.; Bisht, G.; Hammond, G. E.; Mills, R. T.; Thornton, P. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    In Arctic tundra ecosystem soil freezing-thawing is one of dominant physical processes through which biogeochemical (e.g., carbon and nitrogen) cycles are tightly coupled. Besides hydraulic transport, freezing-thawing can cause pore water movement and aqueous species gradients, which are additional mechanisms for soil nitrogen (N) reactive-transport in Tundra ecosystem. In this study, we have fully coupled an in-development ESM(i.e., Advanced Climate Model for Energy, ACME)'s Land Model (ALM) aboveground processes with a state-of-the-art massively parallel 3-D subsurface thermal-hydrology and reactive transport code, PFLOTRAN. The resulting coupled ALM-PFLOTRAN model is a Land Surface Model (LSM) capable of resolving 3-D soil thermal-hydrological-biogeochemical cycles. This specific version of PFLOTRAN has incorporated CLM-CN Converging Trophic Cascade (CTC) model and a full and simple but robust soil N cycle. It includes absorption-desorption for soil NH4+ and gas dissolving-degasing process as well. It also implements thermal-hydrology mode codes with three newly-modified freezing-thawing algorithms which can greatly improve computing performance in regarding to numerical stiffness at freezing-point. Here we tested the model in fully 3-D coupled mode at the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment-Arctic (NGEE-Arctic) field intensive study site at the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), AK. The simulations show that: (1) synchronous coupling of soil thermal-hydrology and biogeochemistry in 3-D can greatly impact ecosystem dynamics across polygonal tundra landscape; and (2) freezing-thawing cycles can add more complexity to the system, resulting in greater mobility of soil N vertically and laterally, depending upon local micro-topography. As a preliminary experiment, the model is also implemented for Pan-Arctic region in 1-D column mode (i.e. no lateral connection), showing significant differences compared to stand-alone ALM. The developed ALM-PFLOTRAN coupling

  18. Alternative technologies for remediation of technogenic barrens in the Kola Subarctic

    Koptsik, G. N.; Koptsik, S. V.; Smirnova, I. E.

    2016-11-01

    The efficiency of remediation of technogenic barrens under the reduction of air pollutant emissions from the Severonikel smelter in the Kola Subarctic is determined largely by the soil state and the technology applied. The covering of the contaminated soils with artificially made material based on organomineral substrates and the following liming and fertilization promoted a sharp and long-term reduction of acidity, decrease in the biological availability of heavy metals, increase in the supply with nutrients, and improvement of the life state of willow and birch plantations. The effect of economically more profitable chemo-phytostabilization is short-term; it requires constant maintenance. Under the current production and a high level of soil contamination, repeated measures are required to optimize the soil reaction, supply with nutrients, and to correct the availability of heavy metals in the soils based on the results of continuous monitoring

  19. Nonvascular contribution to ecosystem NPP in a subarctic heath during early and late growing season

    Campioli, Matteo; Samson, Roeland; Michelsen, Anders

    2009-01-01

    significant when vascular plants are less active and ecosystems act as a source of carbon (C). To clarify these dynamics, nonvascular and vascular aboveground NPP was compared for a subarctic heath during two contrasting periods of the growing season, viz. early-mid summer and late summer-early autumn...... measurements of shoot length increase. Vascular NPP was determined by harvesting shrub and herb apical growth and considering production due to stem secondary growth of shrubs. Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi showed highest biomass growth in late summer, whereas for D. elongatum this occurred...... weight m-2 d-1, in early and late summer, respectively, whereas in the same periods vascular NPP was 3.6 and 1.1 g dry weight m-2 d-1. The contribution of nonvascular NPP to total aboveground NPP was therefore minor in early summer but substantial in late summer, when 25% of the C accumulated...

  20. Chemical pollution in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic marine ecosystems: an overview of current knowledge

    Savinova, T N; Gabrielsen, G W; Falk-Petersen, S

    1995-02-01

    This report is part of a research project in the framework of the Norwegian-Russian Environmental Cooperation, which was initiated in 1991 to elucidate the present status of environmental contaminants in the highly sensitive Arctic aquatic ecosystem, with special focus on sea birds. Although these ecosystems are the least polluted areas in the world, they are contaminated. The main pathways of contamination into Arctic and sub-Arctic marine ecosystems are atmospheric transport, ocean currents and rivers and in some areas, dumping and ship accidents. A literature survey reveals: (1) there is a lack of data from several trophic levels, (2) previous data are difficult to compare with recent data because of increased quality requirement, (3) not much has been done to investigate the effects of contaminants on the cellular level, at individual or population levels. 389 refs., 7 figs., 32 tabs.

  1. "mus co shee": Indigenous Plant Foods and Horticultural Imperialism in the Canadian Sub-Arctic.

    Soloway, Beverly

    2015-01-01

    The 17th-century arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company in Rupert's Land disrupted Mushkegowuk (Cree) hunter-gatherer society by replacing the collection of indigenous plant foods with a British planted-food model. Within a hundred years of British contact, new foodways relied upon hunting and gardening, bringing a loss in heritage plant food knowledge. Mushkegowuk living in the sub-arctic today have minimal knowledge of edible indigenous plants. Dependence on limited local gardening or imported grocery store vegetables has affected diet, nutrition, and cultural systems. In addition to exploring plant food gathering and gardening history in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, this paper demonstrates how re-discovering lost foodway knowledge can contribute to the health and well-being of those living in the far north.

  2. Organic iron (III) complexing ligands during an iron enrichment experiment in the western subarctic North Pacific

    Kondo, Yoshiko; Takeda, Shigenobu; Nishioka, Jun; Obata, Hajime; Furuya, Ken; Johnson, William Keith; Wong, C. S.

    2008-06-01

    Complexation of iron (III) with natural organic ligands was investigated during a mesoscale iron enrichment experiment in the western subarctic North Pacific (SEEDS II). After the iron infusions, ligand concentrations increased rapidly with subsequent decreases. While the increases of ligands might have been partly influenced by amorphous iron colloids formation (12-29%), most in-situ increases were attributable to the Dilution of the fertilized patch may have contributed to the rapid decreases of the ligands. During the bloom decline, ligand concentration increased again, and the high concentrations persisted for 10 days. The conditional stability constant was not different between inside and outside of the fertilized patch. These results suggest that the chemical speciation of the released iron was strongly affected by formation of the ligands; the production of ligands observed during the bloom decline will strongly impact the iron cycle and bioavailability in the surface water.

  3. Nitrogen fixation, denitrification, and ecosystem nitrogen pools in relation to vegetation development in the Subarctic

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Jonasson, Sven Evert; Michelsen, Anders

    2006-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixation, denitrification, and ecosystem pools of nitrogen were measured in three subarctic ecosystem types differing in soil frost-heaving activity and vegetation cover. N2-fixation was measured by the acetylene reduction assay and converted to absolute N ecosystem input by estimates...... of conversion factors between acetylene reduction and 15N incorporation. One aim was to relate nitrogen fluxes and nitrogen pools to the mosaic of ecosystem types of different stability common in areas of soil frost movements. A second aim was to identify abiotic controls on N2-fixation by simultaneous...... measurements of temperature, light, and soil moisture. Nitrogen fixation rate was high with seasonal input estimated at 1.1 g N m2 on frostheaved sorted circles, which was higher than the total plant N content and exceeded estimated annual plant N uptake several-fold but was lower than the microbial N content...

  4. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds.

    Andrew M Ramey

    Full Text Available Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC. We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  5. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds.

    Ramey, Andrew M; Ely, Craig R; Schmutz, Joel A; Pearce, John M; Heard, Darryl J

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  6. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds

    Ramey, Andrew M.; Ely, Craig R.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Heard, Darryl J.

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  7. Increasing Carbon Loss from Snow-Scoured Alpine Tundra in the Colorado Rocky Mountains: An Indicator of Climate Change?

    Knowles, J. F.; Blanken, P.; Williams, M. W.; Lawrence, C. R.

    2015-12-01

    We used the eddy covariance method to continuously measure the net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide for seven years from a snow-scoured alpine tundra meadow on Niwot Ridge in Colorado, USA that may be underlain by sporadic permafrost. On average, the alpine tundra was a net annual source of 232 g C m-2 to the atmosphere, and the source strength of this ecosystem increased over the length of the seven year period due to both reduced carbon uptake during the growing season and increased respiration throughout the winter. To constrain the contribution of permafrost degradation to observed carbon emissions, we also measured the radiocarbon content of actively cycling, occluded, and mineral soil carbon pools across a meso-scale soil moisture and (possible) permafrost gradient within this meadow, as well as the seasonal radiocarbon content of soil respiration. These data suggest that wintertime soil respiration is limited to patches of wet meadow tundra that may be associated with permafrost. Furthermore, soil respiration from one of these locations indicates preferential turnover of a relatively slow cycling carbon pool during the winter. Given that summer air temperatures and positive degree days have been increasing on Niwot Ridge since the middle of the 20th century, this research suggests that an alpine tundra permafrost-respiration feedback to climate change, similar to that observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, may be currently underway.

  8. Methanethiol Concentrations and Sea-Air Fluxes in the Subarctic NE Pacific Ocean

    Kiene, R. P.; Williams, T. E.; Esson, K.; Tortell, P. D.; Dacey, J. W. H.

    2017-12-01

    Exchange of volatile organic sulfur from the ocean to the atmosphere impacts the global sulfur cycle and the climate system and is thought to occur mainly via the gas dimethylsulfide (DMS). DMS is produced during degradation of the abundant phytoplankton osmolyte dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) but bacteria can also convert dissolved DMSP into the sulfur gas methanethiol (MeSH). MeSH has been difficult to measure in seawater because of its high chemical and biological reactivity and, thus, information on MeSH concentrations, distribution and sea-air fluxes is limited. We measured MeSH in the northeast subarctic Pacific Ocean in July 2016, along transects with strong phytoplankton abundance gradients. Water samples obtained with Niskin bottles were analyzed for MeSH by purge-and-trap gas chromatography. Depth profiles showed that MeSH concentrations were high near the surface and declined with depth. Surface waters (5 m depth) had an average MeSH concentration of 0.75 nM with concentrations reaching up to 3nM. MeSH concentrations were correlated (r = 0.47) with microbial turnover of dissolved DMSP which ranged up to 236 nM per day. MeSH was also correlated with total DMSP (r = 0.93) and dissolved DMS (r = 0.63), supporting the conclusion that DMSP was a major precursor of MeSH. Surface water MeSH:DMS concentration ratios averaged 0.19 and ranged up to 0.50 indicating that MeSH was a significant fraction of the volatile sulfur pool in surface waters. Sea-air fluxes of MeSH averaged 15% of the combined DMS+MeSH flux, therefore MeSH contributed an important fraction of the sulfur emitted to the atmosphere from the subarctic NE Pacific Ocean.

  9. Impacts of extreme winter warming events on plant physiology in a sub-Arctic heath community.

    Bokhorst, Stef; Bjerke, Jarle W; Davey, Matthew P; Taulavuori, Kari; Taulavuori, Erja; Laine, Kari; Callaghan, Terry V; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2010-10-01

    Insulation provided by snow cover and tolerance of freezing by physiological acclimation allows Arctic plants to survive cold winter temperatures. However, both the protection mechanisms may be lost with winter climate change, especially during extreme winter warming events where loss of snow cover from snow melt results in exposure of plants to warm temperatures and then returning extreme cold in the absence of insulating snow. These events cause considerable damage to Arctic plants, but physiological responses behind such damage remain unknown. Here, we report simulations of extreme winter warming events using infrared heating lamps and soil warming cables in a sub-Arctic heathland. During these events, we measured maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII), photosynthesis, respiration, bud swelling and associated bud carbohydrate changes and lipid peroxidation to identify physiological responses during and after the winter warming events in three dwarf shrub species: Empetrum hermaphroditum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Vaccinium myrtillus. Winter warming increased maximum quantum yield of PSII, and photosynthesis was initiated for E. hermaphroditum and V. vitis-idaea. Bud swelling, bud carbohydrate decreases and lipid peroxidation were largest for E. hermaphroditum, whereas V. myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea showed no or less strong responses. Increased physiological activity and bud swelling suggest that sub-Arctic plants can initiate spring-like development in response to a short winter warming event. Lipid peroxidation suggests that plants experience increased winter stress. The observed differences between species in physiological responses are broadly consistent with interspecific differences in damage seen in previous studies, with E. hermaphroditum and V. myrtillus tending to be most sensitive. This suggests that initiation of spring-like development may be a major driver in the damage caused by winter warming events that are predicted to become more

  10. Controls and variability of solute and sedimentary fluxes in Arctic and sub-Arctic Environments

    Dixon, John

    2015-04-01

    Six major factors consistently emerge as controls on the spatial and temporal variability in sediment and solute fluxes in cold climates. They are climatic, geologic, physiographic or relief, biologic, hydrologic, and regolith factors. The impact of these factors on sediment and solute mass transfer in Arctic and sub-Arctic environments is examined. Comparison of non-glacierized Arctic vs. subarctic drainage basins reveals the effects of these controls. All drainage basins exhibit considerable variability in rates of sediment and solute fluxes. For the non-glacierized drainage basins there is a consistent increase in sediment mass transfer by slope processes and fluvial processes as relief increases. Similarly, a consistent increase in sediment mass transfer by slope and fluvial processes is observed as total precipitation increases. Similar patterns are also observed with respect to solute transport and relief and precipitation. Lithologic factors are most strongly observed in the contrast between volcanic vs. plutonic igneous bedrock substrates. Basins underlain by volcanic rocks display greater mass transfers than those underlain by plutonic rocks. Biologic influences are most strongly expressed by variations in extent of vegetation cover and the degree of human interference, with human impacted basins generating greater fluxes. For glacierized basins the fundamental difference to non-glacierized basins is an overall increase in mean annual mass transfers of sediment and a generally smaller magnitude solute transfer. The principal role of geology is observed with respect to lithology. Catchments underlain by limestone demonstrate substantially greater solute mass transfers than sediment transfer. The influence of relief is seen in the contrast in mass transfers between upland and lowland drainage basins with upland basins generating greater sediment and solute transfers than lowland basins. For glacierized basins the effects of biology and regolith appear to be

  11. Microbial control of soil organic matter mineralization responses to labile carbon in subarctic climate change treatments.

    Rousk, Kathrin; Michelsen, Anders; Rousk, Johannes

    2016-12-01

    Half the global soil carbon (C) is held in high-latitude systems. Climate change will expose these to warming and a shift towards plant communities with more labile C input. Labile C can also increase the rate of loss of native soil organic matter (SOM); a phenomenon termed 'priming'. We investigated how warming (+1.1 °C over ambient using open top chambers) and litter addition (90 g m -2  yr -1 ) treatments in the subarctic influenced the susceptibility of SOM mineralization to priming, and its microbial underpinnings. Labile C appeared to inhibit the mineralization of C from SOM by up to 60% within hours. In contrast, the mineralization of N from SOM was stimulated by up to 300%. These responses occurred rapidly and were unrelated to microbial successional dynamics, suggesting catabolic responses. Considered separately, the labile C inhibited C mineralization is compatible with previously reported findings termed 'preferential substrate utilization' or 'negative apparent priming', while the stimulated N mineralization responses echo recent reports of 'real priming' of SOM mineralization. However, C and N mineralization responses derived from the same SOM source must be interpreted together: This suggested that the microbial SOM-use decreased in magnitude and shifted to components richer in N. This finding highlights that only considering SOM in terms of C may be simplistic, and will not capture all changes in SOM decomposition. The selective mining for N increased in climate change treatments with higher fungal dominance. In conclusion, labile C appeared to trigger catabolic responses of the resident microbial community that shifted the SOM mining to N-rich components; an effect that increased with higher fungal dominance. Extrapolating from these findings, the predicted shrub expansion in the subarctic could result in an altered microbial use of SOM, selectively mining it for N-rich components, and leading to a reduced total SOM-use. © 2016 John Wiley

  12. Master function for the solid:solution equilibrium of DOC in taiga and tundra soils of N. Russia: experimental and modeling results

    Oosterwoud, M. R.; van der Zee, S. E. A. T. M.; Meeussen, J. C. L.; Temminghoff, E. J. M.

    2012-04-01

    The formation and degradation of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in arctic environments is intensively investigated, in the context of DOC loading of arctic rivers and seas as well as climate change. However, chemical interaction studies are more scarce, in particular those involving modeling. We investigated DOC interactions in N. Russian taiga and tundra soils, and found that water extractable organic carbon (WEOC) comprises only a small fraction of total organic carbon, whereas DOC is again a small fraction of WEOC. The chemical composition of DOC in terms of humic, fulvic, and hydrophilic acids, the concentrations of dominant cations such as Ca and Al, and the solid iron oxide contents appear to differ profoundly for different soil horizons, as well as between taiga and tundra soils. To reconcile these differences, we processed the data with a simple Freundlich model and with advanced LCD (Ligand and Charge Distribution) modeling of DOC interactions. In the LCD modeling, a combination is made of advances such as CD-MUSIC, and Nica-Donnan approaches, that are implemented in the software ORCHESTRA (though adjusted for computational stability by us). To avoid fitting without good foundation, use is made of the generic parameterization of LCD in combination with measured, site-specific chemical data such as concentrations. We observe that the soil samples from both regions, soil types and horizons can be described with a single DOC sorption Freundlich isotherm. More interestingly, for the same set of samples, the LCD modeling enables us to cast DOC sorption into a single Master Function, that takes iron oxide content and Al and Ca concentrations of soil samples into account in a purely predictive way. Based on this Master Function, it is feasible to assess how DOC is sorbed onto the solid surface. In combination with DOC production and degradation models, our results provide a more balanced instrument to address changes in DOC loading to surface waters due to

  13. Diagnosis of the hydrology of a small Arctic basin at the tundra-taiga transition using a physically based hydrological model

    Krogh, Sebastian A.; Pomeroy, John W.; Marsh, Philip

    2017-07-01

    A better understanding of cold regions hydrological processes and regimes in transitional environments is critical for predicting future Arctic freshwater fluxes under climate and vegetation change. A physically based hydrological model using the Cold Regions Hydrological Model platform was created for a small Arctic basin in the tundra-taiga transition region. The model represents snow redistribution and sublimation by wind and vegetation, snowmelt energy budget, evapotranspiration, subsurface flow through organic terrain, infiltration to frozen soils, freezing and thawing of soils, permafrost and streamflow routing. The model was used to reconstruct the basin water cycle over 28 years to understand and quantify the mass fluxes controlling its hydrological regime. Model structure and parameters were set from the current understanding of Arctic hydrology, remote sensing, field research in the basin and region, and calibration against streamflow observations. Calibration was restricted to subsurface hydraulic and storage parameters. Multi-objective evaluation of the model using observed streamflow, snow accumulation and ground freeze/thaw state showed adequate simulation. Significant spatial variability in the winter mass fluxes was found between tundra, shrubs and forested sites, particularly due to the substantial blowing snow redistribution and sublimation from the wind-swept upper basin, as well as sublimation of canopy intercepted snow from the forest (about 17% of snowfall). At the basin scale, the model showed that evapotranspiration is the largest loss of water (47%), followed by streamflow (39%) and sublimation (14%). The models streamflow performance sensitivity to a set of parameter was analysed, as well as the mean annual mass balance uncertainty associated with these parameters.

  14. Interannual variations of net community production and air-sea CO2 flux from winter to spring in the western subarctic North Pacific

    Midorikawa, Takashi; Ogawa, Kan; Nemoto, Kazuhiro; Kamiya, Hitomi; Umeda, Takafumi; Hiraishi, Naotaka; Wada, Akira; Ishii, Masao

    2003-01-01

    The role of spring biological production for the air-sea CO 2 flux was quantified in the Western Subarctic Gyre (48 deg N, 165 deg E), where the vertical profile of temperature revealed the existence of a temperature minimum (Tmin) layer in the North Pacific. The vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients and dissolved inorganic carbon, DIC, in the upper water column were significantly variable year by year in spring, 1996-2000. Correspondingly, surface seawater at this site in spring was supersaturated with CO 2 in 1997, 1999 and 2000, but was undersaturated in 1996 and 1998. The concentrations of DIC and nutrients in the winter mixed layer were estimated from those in the Tmin layer in spring with a correction for particle decomposition based on the apparent oxygen utilization. The net community production (NCP) and air-sea CO 2 flux from winter to spring were calculated from the vertically integrated deficits of DIC and nutrients in the upper water column between the two seasons. The calculation of the carbon budget indicated large interannual variations of NCP (0-13 mmol/m 2 /d) and CO 2 efflux (4-16 mmol/m 2 /d) for this period. The CO 2 efflux was generally low in the year when NCP was high. The close coupling between biological production and CO 2 efflux suggested the important role of the changes in the mixed-layer depth, as a key process controlling both processes, especially of the timing, so that a decrease in the mixed-layer depth could result in the activation of biological production. The early biological consumption of the surface DIC concentration could shorten the period for acting as a source for atmospheric CO 2 and depress the CO 2 efflux in the Western Subarctic Gyre from winter to spring in 1996 and 1998. On the contrary, in 1997, persistently deep vertical mixing until late spring could suppress the biological activity and give rise to long-lasting CO 2 efflux

  15. Detection and molecular characterization of the mosquito-borne filarial nematode Setaria tundra in Danish roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)

    Enemark, Heidi Larsen; Oksanen, Antti; Chriél, Mariann

    2017-01-01

    Setaria tundra is a mosquito-borne filarial nematode of cervids in Europe. It has recently been associated with an emerging epidemic disease causing severe morbidity and mortality in reindeer and moose in Finland. Here, we present the first report of S. tundra in six roe deer (Capreolus capreolus...... Europe. Roe deer are generally considered as asymptomatic carriers and their numbers in Denmark have increased significantly in recent decades. In light of climatic changes which result in warmer, more humid weather in Scandinavia greater numbers of mosquitoes and, especially, improved conditions...... for development of parasite larvae in the mosquito vectors are expected, which may lead to increasing prevalence of S. tundra. Monitoring of this vector-borne parasite may thus be needed in order to enhance the knowledge of factors promoting its expansion and prevalence as well as predicting disease outbreaks. (C...

  16. Population dynamics and life history strategies of the dominant copepods in a sub-arctic Greenlandic fjord

    Kjellerup, Sanne; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    Investigations of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic pelagic food web have previously focused on the copepod genus Calanus, as they often dominate the mesozooplankton community and serve as a lipid rich food source for higher trophic levels. However, if night samples are considered a different food web...... might emerges with the omnivorous copepod Metridia spp. in a major role. Biology of Metridia is practically unknown but deviates from Calanus e.g. Metridia does not hibernate but stays active yearlong benefiting from being omnivore. In the present study abundance, depth distribution, and egg and pellet...... hibernating Calanus. M. longa might thereby also have a central role in the lipid rich food chain which is a distinct feature for Arctic and Sub-Arctic ecosystems...

  17. Monitoring of the invasive diatom Didymosphenia geminata in the subarctic and in alpine areas of southern Europe

    Finger, David C.; Jónsson, Ingi R.; Cypaité, Vaiva; Ognjanova, Nadja; Ólafsson, Jón S.; Trichkova, Teodora

    2016-04-01

    In recent decades invasive species have been spreading across Europe. Although the perceptions of invasive species are divergent among researchers there is a general consent that invasive species endanger the diversity of native biota and hence should be monitored to initiate appropriate counter measures in drastic cases. Anthropogenic activities and climate change are the main cause for the enhanced spreading of non-native species to new environments. In this presentation we will present preliminary results from two aquatic case studies, one located in subarctic Iceland (River Elliðaár) and one in the high mountains of Bulgaria (the Seven Rila lakes), focusing on the freshwater diatom Didymosphenia geminata (Didymo). The diatom is a single cell algae which's natural habitat is cold fresh water environments with low nutrient content, i.e. mountainous areas in Europe, Asia and North America. In the last decades Didymo has been increasingly observed in new areas, e.g. Iceland, North America and New Zealand. Within the ESENIAS-TOOLS project two field excursions will identify the existence of Didymo in the two study sites and compare current abundance to previous observations. The preliminary results in the Rila Mountains, including both fossil and recent records, confirm that the occurrence of Didymo is restricted to Lake Bliznaka, the largest of the seven lakes located at lower altitude. In River Elliðaár preliminary results indicate a high abundance of Didymo along all sampling locations, confirming the invasive proliferation described in previous studies. The upscaling of the preliminary results from Elliðaár and Rila Mountains can help us to formulate general conclusions about the spreading of this invasive species. Furthermore, this bilateral cooperation can be further extended to other countries and hence contribute to a better management of invasive alien species in Europe. Acknowledgement: This study is part of ESENIAS - The East and South European

  18. Role of EPS, Dispersant and Nutrients on the Microbial Response and MOS Formation in the Subarctic Northeast Atlantic

    Tony Gutierrez

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study we report the formation of marine oil snow (MOS, its associated microbial community, the factors influencing its formation, and the microbial response to crude oil in surface waters of the Faroe-Shetland Channel (FSC. The FSC is a subarctic region that is hydrodynamically complex located in the northeast Atlantic where oil extraction is currently occurring and where exploration is likely to expand into its deeper waters (>500 m. A major oil spill in this region may mirror the aftermath that ensued following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, where the massive influx of Macondo crude oil triggered the formation of copious quantities of rapidly sinking MOS and successional blooms of opportunistic oil-degrading bacteria. In laboratory experiments, we simulated environmental conditions in sea surface waters of the FSC using water collected from this site during the winter of 2015. We demonstrated that the presence of dispersant triggers the formation of MOS, and that nutrient amendments magnify this. Illumina MiSeq sequencing revealed the enrichment on MOS of associated oil-degrading (Cycloclasticus, Thalassolituus, Marinobacter and EPS-producing (Halomonas, Pseudoalteromonas, Alteromonas bacteria, and included major representation by Psychrobacter and Cobetia with putative oil-degrading/EPS-producing qualities. The formation of marine snow, in the absence of crude oil and dispersant, in seawater amended with nutrients alone indicated that the de novo synthesis of bacterial EPS is a key factor in MOS formation, and the glycoprotein composition of the MOS aggregates confirmed that its amorphous biopolymeric matrix was of microbial (likely bacterial origin. The presence of dispersants and crude oil with/without nutrients resulted in distinct microbial responses marked by intermittent, and in some cases short-lived, blooms of opportunistic heterotrophs, principally obligate hydrocarbonoclastic (Alcanivorax

  19. Physical and biological effects of experimental crude oil spills on Low Artic tundra in the vicinity of Tuktoyaktuk, N. W. T. , Canada

    Freedman, W.; Hutchinson, T.C.

    1976-10-01

    Data are presented on the effects of simulated crude oil spills on two Low Arctic terrestrial tundra plant communities near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Spills of fresh, unweathered crude oil had a general herbicidal effect, resulting in rapid damage to, and subsequent death of, all aboveground actively growing foliage coming in contact with the oil. Most species were defoliated. Mosses and lichens were especially susceptible and killed. However, within several weeks of the summer oil spillages, a limited number of relatively tolerant vascular plant species began to develop regrowth shoots. Summer spills were markedly more damaging than were equivalent spills made in winter. No increases were seen in active layer depth from spills made in summer. However, winter spills on one of the two sites did show consistent and statistically significant (P > 0.01) increases in depth of thaw. Examination of several key energy budget parameters at these field sites indicated consistently lower albedos and evapotranspiration and consistently higher soil surface temperatures and soil heat flux at all oil spill sites, relative to their controls. However, except for a winter spill on one site, the recorded differences were not sufficiently large in magnitude to produce significant increases in active layer thaw depths.

  20. Report of the 2004 Workshop on In Situ Iron Enrichment Experiments in the Eastern and Western Subarctic Pacific

    Takeda, Shigenobu; Wong, C.S.

    2006-01-01

    Foreword 1. BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES (pdf, 0.1 Mb) 2. 2004 WORKSHOP SUMMARY (pdf, < 0.1 Mb) 2.1. What have we learned from the enrichment experiments? 2.2 What are the outstanding questions? 2.3 Recommendations for SEEDS-II 3. EXTENDED ABSTRACTS OF THE 2004 WORKSHOP 3.1 Synthesis of the Iron Enrichment Experiments: SEEDS and SERIES (pdf, 0.5 Mb) Iron fertilization experiment in the western subarctic Pacific (SEEDS) by At...

  1. Climate change-induced vegetation change as a driver of increased subarctic biogenic volatile organic compound emissions.

    Valolahti, Hanna; Kivimäenpää, Minna; Faubert, Patrick; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2015-09-01

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) have been earlier shown to be highly temperature sensitive in subarctic ecosystems. As these ecosystems experience rapidly advancing pronounced climate warming, we aimed to investigate how warming affects the BVOC emissions in the long term (up to 13 treatment years). We also aimed to assess whether the increased litterfall resulting from the vegetation changes in the warming subarctic would affect the emissions. The study was conducted in a field experiment with factorial open-top chamber warming and annual litter addition treatments on subarctic heath in Abisko, northern Sweden. After 11 and 13 treatment years, BVOCs were sampled from plant communities in the experimental plots using a push-pull enclosure technique and collection into adsorbent cartridges during the growing season and analyzed with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Plant species coverage in the plots was analyzed by the point intercept method. Warming by 2 °C caused a 2-fold increase in monoterpene and 5-fold increase in sesquiterpene emissions, averaged over all measurements. When the momentary effect of temperature was diminished by standardization of emissions to a fixed temperature, warming still had a significant effect suggesting that emissions were also indirectly increased. This indirect increase appeared to result from increased plant coverage and changes in vegetation composition. The litter addition treatment also caused significant increases in the emission rates of some BVOC groups, especially when combined with warming. The combined treatment had both the largest vegetation changes and the highest BVOC emissions. The increased emissions under litter addition were probably a result of a changed vegetation composition due to alleviated nutrient limitation and stimulated microbial production of BVOCs. We suggest that the changes in the subarctic vegetation composition induced by climate warming will be the major factor

  2. Changing times, changing stories: Generational differences in climate change perspectives from four remote indigenous communities in Subarctic Alaska

    Herman-Mercer, Nicole M.; Matkin, Elli; Laituri, Melinda J.; Toohey, Ryan C; Massey, Maggie; Elder, Kelly; Schuster, Paul F.; Mutter, Edda A.

    2016-01-01

    Indigenous Arctic and Subarctic communities currently are facing a myriad of social and environmental changes. In response to these changes, studies concerning indigenous knowledge (IK) and climate change vulnerability, resiliency, and adaptation have increased dramatically in recent years. Risks to lives and livelihoods are often the focus of adaptation research; however, the cultural dimensions of climate change are equally important because cultural dimensions inform perceptions of risk. Furthermore, many Arctic and Subarctic IK climate change studies document observations of change and knowledge of the elders and older generations in a community, but few include the perspectives of the younger population. These observations by elders and older generations form a historical baseline record of weather and climate observations in these regions. However, many indigenous Arctic and Subarctic communities are composed of primarily younger residents. We focused on the differences in the cultural dimensions of climate change found between young adults and elders. We outlined the findings from interviews conducted in four indigenous communities in Subarctic Alaska. The findings revealed that (1) intergenerational observations of change were common among interview participants in all four communities, (2) older generations observed more overall change than younger generations interviewed by us, and (3) how change was perceived varied between generations. We defined “observations” as the specific examples of environmental and weather change that were described, whereas “perceptions” referred to the manner in which these observations of change were understood and contextualized by the interview participants. Understanding the differences in generational observations and perceptions of change are key issues in the development of climate change adaptation strategies.

  3. Lead toxicosis in tundra swans near a mining and smelting complex in northern Idaho

    Blus, L.J.; Henny, C.J.; Hoffman, D.J.; Grove, R.A.

    1991-01-01

    Die-offs of waterfowl have occurred in the Coeur d`Alene River system in northern Idaho since at least the early 1900`s. We investigated causes of mortality and lead and cadmium contamination of 46 tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) from 1987 to 1989; an additional 22 swans found dead in 1990 were not examined. We necropsied 43 of the 46 birds found from 1987 to 1989; 38 of these were from the Coeur d`Alene River system, which has been contaminated with mining and smelting wastes for a century, and the other 5 were from a nearby, relatively uncontaminated area. Of the 36 livers of swans from the contaminated area that were analyzed, 32 contained lethal levels of lead (6 to 40 micrograms/g, wet weight) and all birds exhibited several symptoms of lead poisoning, notably enlarged gall bladders containing viscous, darkgreen bile. Only 13% of the lead-poisoned birds (10% when data were included from other studies of swans in the area) contained shot, compared to 95% of lead-poisoning swans in studies outside northern Idaho. Lead concentrations in blood samples from 16 apparently healthy swans (0.5 to 2.3 micrograms/g, and 4 leadpoisoned birds found moribund (1.3 to 9.6 micrograms/g) indicating that tundra swans accumulated high levels of lead from ingestion of sediment that contained up to 8,700 micrograms/g of lead and plants that contained up to 400 micrograms/g. The swans spend only a few weeks in the area staging during the spring migration. The five tundra swans from the uncontaminated area had low levels of lead and essentially no symptoms of lead poisoning.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  4. Molecular detection of Setaria tundra (Nematoda: Filarioidea and an unidentified filarial species in mosquitoes in Germany

    Czajka Christina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge of the potential vector role of Culicidae mosquitoes in Germany is very scanty, and until recently it was generally assumed that they are not involved in the transmission of anthroponotic or zoonotic pathogens in this country. However, anticipated changes in the course of global warming and globalization may alter their status. Methods We conducted a molecular mass screening of mosquitoes for filarial parasites using mitochondrial 12S rRNA-based real-time PCR. Results No parasites causing disease in humans such as Dirofilaria spp. were detected in about 83,000 mosquitoes tested, which had been collected in 2009 and 2010 in 16 locations throughout Germany. However, minimum infection rates of up to 24 per 1000 mosquitoes were revealed, which could be attributed to mosquito infection with Setaria tundra and a yet unidentified second parasite. Setaria tundra was found to be widespread in southern Germany in various mosquito species, except Culex spp. In contrast, the unidentified filarial species was exclusively found in Culex spp. in northern Baden-Württemberg, and is likely to be a bird parasite. Conclusions Although dirofilariasis appears to be emerging and spreading in Europe, the absence of Dirofilaria spp. or other zoonotic filariae in our sample allows the conclusion that the risk of autochthonous infection in Germany is still very low. Potential vectors of S. tundra in Germany are Ochlerotatus sticticus, Oc. cantans, Aedes vexans and Anopheles claviger. Technically, the synergism between entomologists, virologists and parasitologists, combined with state-of-the-art methods allows a very efficient near-real-time monitoring of a wide spectrum of both human and veterinary pathogens, including new distribution records of parasite species and the incrimination of their potential vectors.

  5. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R; Greaves, Heather

    2011-01-01

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI pre-leaf ), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI demi-leaf ) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI peak-leaf ). We found that: (1) NDVI pre-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI peak-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI demi-leaf does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative energy balance, and wildlife

  6. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in arctic tundra soils

    Herndon, E.; AlBashaireh, A.; Duroe, K.; Singer, D. M.

    2016-12-01

    Geochemical interactions between soil organic matter and minerals influence decomposition in many environments but remain poorly understood in arctic tundra systems. In tundra soils that are periodically to persistently saturated, the accumulation of iron oxyhydroxides and organo-iron precipitates at redox interfaces may inhibit decomposition by binding organic molecules and protecting them from microbial degradation. Here, we couple synchrotron-source spectroscopic techniques with chemical sequential extractions and physical density fractionations to evaluate the spatial distribution and speciation of Fe-bearing phases and associated organic matter in organic and mineral horizons of the seasonally thawed active layer in tundra soils from northern Alaska. Mineral-associated organic matter comprised 63 ± 9% of soil organic carbon stored in the active layer of ice wedge polygons. Ferrous iron produced in anoxic mineral horizons diffused upwards and precipitated as poorly-crystalline oxyhydroxides and organic-bound Fe(III) in the organic horizons. Ferrihydrite and goethite were present as coatings on mineral grains and plant debris and in aggregates with clays and particulate organic matter. Organic matter released through acid-dissolution of iron oxides may represent a small pool of readily-degradable organic molecules temporarily stabilized by sorption to iron oxyhydroxide surfaces, while larger quantities of particulate organic carbon and humic-like substances may be physically protected from decomposition by Fe-oxide coatings and aggregation. We conclude that formation of poorly-crystalline and crystalline iron oxides at redox interfaces contributes to mineral protection of organic matter through sorption, aggregation, and co-precipitation reactions. Further study of organo-mineral associations is necessary to determine the net impact of mineral-stabilization on carbon storage in rapidly warming arctic ecosystems.

  7. Export production in the subarctic North Pacific over the last 800 kyrs: No evidence for iron fertilization?

    Kienast, S.S.; Hendy, I.L.; Crusius, J.; Pedersen, Thomas F.; Calvert, S.E.

    2004-01-01

    The subarctic North Pacific is a high nitrate-low chlorophyll (HNLC) region, where phytoplankton growth rates, especially those of diatoms, are enhanced when micro-nutrient Fe is added. Accordingly, it has been suggested that glacial Fe-laden dust might have increased primary production in this region. This paper reviews published palaeoceanographic records of export production over the last 800 kyrs from the open North Pacific (north of ???35??N). We find different patterns of export production change over time in the various domains of the North Pacific (NW and NE subarctic gyres, the marginal seas and the transition zone). However, there is no compelling evidence for an overall increase in productivity during glacials in the subarctic region, challenging the paradigm that dust-born Fe fertilization of this region has contributed to the glacial draw down of atmospheric CO2. Potential reasons for the lack of increased glacial export production include the possibility that Fe-fertilization rapidly drives the ecosystem towards limitation by another nutrient. This effect would have been exacerbated by an even more stable mixed layer compared to today. ?? The Oceanographic Society of Japan.

  8. Modeling the Observed Microwave Emission from Shallow Multi-Layer Tundra Snow Using DMRT-ML

    Nastaran Saberi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The observed brightness temperatures (Tb at 37 GHz from typical moderate density dry snow in mid-latitudes decreases with increasing snow water equivalent (SWE due to volume scattering of the ground emissions by the overlying snow. At a certain point, however, as SWE increases, the emission from the snowpack offsets the scattering of the sub-nivean emission. In tundra snow, the Tb slope reversal occurs at shallower snow thicknesses. While it has been postulated that the inflection point in the seasonal time series of observed Tb V 37 GHz of tundra snow is controlled by the formation of a thick wind slab layer, the simulation of this effect has yet to be confirmed. Therefore, the Dense Media Radiative Transfer Theory for Multi Layered (DMRT-ML snowpack is used to predict the passive microwave response from airborne observations over shallow, dense, slab-layered tundra snow. Airborne radiometer observations coordinated with ground-based in situ snow measurements were acquired in the Canadian high Arctic near Eureka, NT, in April 2011. The DMRT-ML was parameterized with the in situ snow measurements using a two-layer snowpack and run in two configurations: a depth hoar and a wind slab dominated pack. With these two configurations, the calibrated DMRT-ML successfully predicted the Tb V 37 GHz response (R correlation of 0.83 when compared with the observed airborne Tb footprints containing snow pits measurements. Using this calibrated model, the DMRT-ML was applied to the whole study region. At the satellite observation scale, observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E over the study area reflected seasonal differences between Tb V 37 GHz and Tb V 19 GHz that supports the hypothesis of the development of an early season volume scattering depth hoar layer, followed by the growth of the late season emission-dominated wind slab layer. This research highlights the necessity to consider the two

  9. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    Huemmrich, Karl Fred; Gamon, John A.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Campbell, Petya K. Entcheva; Landis, David R.; Middleton, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    Non-vascular plants (lichens and mosses) are significant components of tundra landscapes and may respond to climate change differently from vascular plants affecting ecosystem carbon balance. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring plant cover types, as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional estimates of biophysical properties, for which spatial-temporal patterns may be analyzed. Gas exchange measurements were collected for pure patches of key vegetation functional types (lichens, mosses, and vascular plants) in sedge tundra at Barrow, AK. These functional types were found to have three significantly different values of light use efficiency (LUE) with values of 0.013 plus or minus 0.0002, 0.0018 plus or minus 0.0002, and 0.0012 plus or minus 0.0001 mol C mol (exp -1) absorbed quanta for vascular plants, mosses and lichens, respectively. Discriminant analysis of the spectra reflectance of these patches identified five spectral bands that separated each of these vegetation functional types as well as nongreen material (bare soil, standing water, and dead leaves). These results were tested along a 100 m transect where midsummer spectral reflectance and vegetation coverage were measured at one meter intervals. Along the transect, area-averaged canopy LUE estimated from coverage fractions of the three functional types varied widely, even over short distances. The patch-level statistical discriminant functions applied to in situ hyperspectral reflectance data collected along the transect successfully unmixed cover fractions of the vegetation functional types. The unmixing functions, developed from the transect data, were applied to 30 m spatial resolution Earth Observing-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer data to examine variability in distribution of the vegetation functional types for an area near Barrow, AK. Spatial variability of LUE was derived from the observed functional type distributions. Across this landscape, a

  10. Hybrid image classification technique for land-cover mapping in the Arctic tundra, North Slope, Alaska

    Chaudhuri, Debasish

    Remotely sensed image classification techniques are very useful to understand vegetation patterns and species combination in the vast and mostly inaccessible arctic region. Previous researches that were done for mapping of land cover and vegetation in the remote areas of northern Alaska have considerably low accuracies compared to other biomes. The unique arctic tundra environment with short growing season length, cloud cover, low sun angles, snow and ice cover hinders the effectiveness of remote sensing studies. The majority of image classification research done in this area as reported in the literature used traditional unsupervised clustering technique with Landsat MSS data. It was also emphasized by previous researchers that SPOT/HRV-XS data lacked the spectral resolution to identify the small arctic tundra vegetation parcels. Thus, there is a motivation and research need to apply a new classification technique to develop an updated, detailed and accurate vegetation map at a higher spatial resolution i.e. SPOT-5 data. Traditional classification techniques in remotely sensed image interpretation are based on spectral reflectance values with an assumption of the training data being normally distributed. Hence it is difficult to add ancillary data in classification procedures to improve accuracy. The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a hybrid image classification approach that effectively integrates ancillary information into the classification process and combines ISODATA clustering, rule-based classifier and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) classifier which uses artificial neural network (ANN). The main goal was to find out the best possible combination or sequence of classifiers for typically classifying tundra type vegetation that yields higher accuracy than the existing classified vegetation map from SPOT data. Unsupervised ISODATA clustering and rule-based classification techniques were combined to produce an intermediate classified map which was

  11. First Record of Setaria Tundra in Danish Roe Deer (Capreolus Capreolus)

    Enemark, Heidi L.; Harslund, Jakob le Fèvre; Oksanen, A.

    2011-01-01

    No previous finds of the mosquito-borne filarioid nematode Setaria tundra have been reported from Denmark, although it was described decades ago in Swedish and Norwegian reindeer as well as in roe deer from Germany, Bulgaria and more recently also from Italy and Finland. Setaria spp. are usually...... and thereby larger numbers of mosquitoes, it is important to monitor this vector-borne parasite. This will not only increase the understanding of factors promoting its expansion but also help to predict disease outbreaks....

  12. Delineation of Tundra Swan Cygnus c. columbianus populations in North America: geographic boundaries and interchange

    Ely, Craig R.; Sladen, William J. L.; Wilson, Heather M.; Savage, Susan E.; Sowl, Kristine M.; Henry, Bill; Schwitters, Mike; Snowden, James

    2014-01-01

    North American Tundra Swans Cygnus c. columbianus are composed of two wellrecognised populations: an Eastern Population (EP) that breeds across northern Canada and north of the Brooks Range in Alaska, which migrates to the eastern seaboard of the United States, and a Western Population (WP) that breeds in coastal regions of Alaska south of the Brooks Range and migrates to western North America. We present results of a recent major ringing effort from across the breeding range in Alaska to provide a better definition of the geographic extent of the migratory divide in Alaska. We also reassess the staging and winter distributions of these populations based on locations of birds tracked using satellite transmitters, and recent recoveries and sightings of neck-collared birds. Summer sympatry of EP and WP Tundra Swans is very limited, and largely confined to a small area in northwest Alaska. Autumn migration pathways of EP and WP Tundra swans abut in southwest Saskatchewan, a region where migrating WP birds turn west, and EP birds deviate abruptly eastward. Overall, from 1989 to 2013 inclusive, 2.6% of recoveries or resightings reported to the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory were of birds that moved from the domain of the population in which they were initially captured to within the range of the other population; a proportion roughly comparable to the results of Limpert et al. (1991) for years before 1990. Of the 70 cross-boundary movements reported since 1989, 39% were of birds marked on breeding areas and 61% were of birds marked on wintering areas. Dispersing swans (i.e. those that made crossboundary movements) did not differ with respect to age or sex from those that did not move between populations. The Brooks Range in northern Alaska effectively separates the two populations within Alaska, but climate-induced changes in tundra breeding habitats and losses of wetlands on staging areas may alter the distribution for both of these populations.

  13. Responses of vegetation and soil microbial communities to warming and simulated herbivory in a subarctic heath

    Rinnan, Riikka; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Climate warming increases the cover of deciduous shrubs in arctic ecosystems and herbivory is also known to have a strong influence on the biomass and composition of vegetation. However, research combining herbivory with warming is largely lacking. Our study describes how warming and simulated...... setup of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Wounding of the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus L. to simulate herbivory was carried out annually. We measured vegetation cover in 2003 and 2007, soil nutrient concentrations in 2003 and 2006, soil microbial respiration in 2003...... and herbivory. 6 Synthesis. Our results show that warming increases the cover of V. myrtillus, which seems to enhance the nutrient sink strength of vegetation in the studied ecosystem. However, herbivory partially negates the effect of warming on plant N uptake and interacts with the effect of warming...

  14. Tundra vegetation change near Barrow, Alaska (1972–2010)

    Villarreal, S; Johnson, D R; Lara, M J; Tweedie, C E; Hollister, R D; Webber, P J

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of how arctic plant communities will respond to change has been largely derived from plot level experimental manipulation, not from trends of decade time scale environmental observations. This study documents plant community change in 330 marked plots at 33 sites established during the International Biological Program near Barrow, Alaska in 1972. Plots were resampled in 1999, 2008 and 2010 for species cover and presence. Cluster analysis identified nine plant communities in 1972. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) indicates that plant communities have changed in different ways over time, and that wet communities have changed more than dry communities. The relative cover of lichens increased over time, while the response of other plant functional groups varied. Species richness and diversity also increased over time. The most dramatic changes in the cover of bryophytes, graminoids and bare ground coincided with a lemming high in 2008. (letter)

  15. Coupled Monitoring and Inverse Modeling to Investigate Surface - Subsurface Hydrological and Thermal Dynamics in the Arctic Tundra

    Tran, A. P.; Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S. S.; Bisht, G.; Peterson, J.; Ulrich, C.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Wu, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Quantitative characterization of the soil surface-subsurface hydrological and thermal processes is essential as they are primary factors that control the biogeochemical processes, ecological landscapes and greenhouse gas fluxes. In the Artic region, the surface-subsurface hydrological and thermal regimes co-interact and are both largely influenced by soil texture and soil organic content. In this study, we present a coupled inversion scheme that jointly inverts hydrological, thermal and geophysical data to estimate the vertical profiles of clay, sand and organic contents. Within this inversion scheme, the Community Land Model (CLM4.5) serves as a forward model to simulate the land-surface energy balance and subsurface hydrological-thermal processes. Soil electrical conductivity (from electrical resistivity tomography), temperature and water content are linked together via petrophysical and geophysical models. Particularly, the inversion scheme accounts for the influences of the soil organic and mineral content on both of the hydrological-thermal dynamics and the petrophysical relationship. We applied the inversion scheme to the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) intensive site in Barrow, AK, which is characterized by polygonal-shaped arctic tundra. The monitoring system autonomously provides a suite of above-ground measurements (e.g., precipitation, air temperature, wind speed, short-long wave radiation, canopy greenness and eddy covariance) as well as below-ground measurements (soil moisture, soil temperature, thaw layer thickness, snow thickness and soil electrical conductivity), which complement other periodic, manually collected measurements. The preliminary results indicate that the model can well reproduce the spatiotemporal dynamics of the soil temperature, and therefore, accurately predict the active layer thickness. The hydrological and thermal dynamics are closely linked to the polygon types and polygon features. The results also enable the

  16. Association of climatic factors with infectious diseases in the Arctic and subarctic region--a systematic review.

    Hedlund, Christina; Blomstedt, Yulia; Schumann, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic and subarctic area are likely to be highly affected by climate change, with possible impacts on human health due to effects on food security and infectious diseases. To investigate the evidence for an association between climatic factors and infectious diseases, and to identify the most climate-sensitive diseases and vulnerable populations in the Arctic and subarctic region. A systematic review was conducted. A search was made in PubMed, with the last update in May 2013. Inclusion criteria included human cases of infectious disease as outcome, climate or weather factor as exposure, and Arctic or subarctic areas as study origin. Narrative reviews, case reports, and projection studies were excluded. Abstracts and selected full texts were read and evaluated by two independent readers. A data collection sheet and an adjusted version of the SIGN methodology checklist were used to assess the quality grade of each article. In total, 1953 abstracts were initially found, of which finally 29 articles were included. Almost half of the studies were carried out in Canada (n=14), the rest from Sweden (n=6), Finland (n=4), Norway (n=2), Russia (n=2), and Alaska, US (n=1). Articles were analyzed by disease group: food- and waterborne diseases, vector-borne diseases, airborne viral- and airborne bacterial diseases. Strong evidence was found in our review for an association between climatic factors and food- and waterborne diseases. The scientific evidence for a link between climate and specific vector- and rodent-borne diseases was weak due to that only a few diseases being addressed in more than one publication, although several articles were of very high quality. Air temperature and humidity seem to be important climatic factors to investigate further for viral- and bacterial airborne diseases, but from our results no conclusion about a causal relationship could be drawn. More studies of high quality are needed to investigate the adverse health impacts of weather and

  17. Quantifying dust input to the Subarctic North Pacific - Results from surface sediments and sea water thorium isotope measurements

    Winckler, G.; Serno, S.; Hayes, C.; Anderson, R. F.; Gersonde, R.; Haug, G. H.

    2012-12-01

    The Subarctic North Pacific is one of the three primary high-nutrient-low chlorophyll regions of the modern ocean, where the biological pump is relatively inefficient at transferring carbon from the atmosphere to the deep sea. The system is thought to be iron-limited. Aeolian dust is a significant source of iron and other nutrients that are essential for the health of marine ecosystems and potentially a controlling factor of the high-nutrient-low chlorophyll status of the Subarctic North Pacific. However, constraining the size of the dust flux to the surface ocean remains difficult. Here we apply two different approaches, based on surface sediment and water column samples, respectively, obtained during the SO202/INOPEX research cruise to the Subarctic North Pacific in 2009. We map the spatial patterns of Th/U isotopes, helium isotopes and rare earth elements across surface sediments from 37 multi-core core-top sediments across the Subarctic North Pacific. In order to deconvolve the detrital endmembers in regions of the North Pacific affected by volcanic material, IRD and hemipelagic input, we use a combination of trace elements with distinct characteristics in the different endmembers. This approach allows us to calculate the relative aeolian fraction, and in combination with Thorium230-normalized mass flux data, to quantify the dust supply. Secondly, we present an innovative approach to use paired Thorium-232 and Thorium-230 concentrations of upper-ocean seawater at 7 stations along the INOPEX track. Thorium-232 in the upper water column is dominantly derived from dissolution of aeolian dust, whereas Thorium-230 data provide a measure of the thorium removal from the surface waters and, thus, allow us to derive Thorium-232 fluxes. Combined with a mean Thorium-232 concentration in dust and estimate of the thorium solubility, the Thorium-232 flux can be translated in a dust flux to the surface ocean. Dust flux estimates for the Subarctic North Pacific will be

  18. Is the mineralisation response to root exudation controlled by the microbial stoichiometric demand in subarctic soils?

    Rousk, Johannes; Hicks, Lettice; Leizeaga, Ainara; Michelsen, Anders; Rousk, Kathrin

    2017-04-01

    Climate change will expose arctic and subarctic systems to warming and a shift towards plant communities with more rhizosphere labile C input. Labile C can also increase the rate of loss of native soil organic matter (SOM); a phenomenon termed 'priming'. We investigated how warming (+1.1˚ C over ambient using open top chambers) and the addition of plant litter (90 g m-2 y-1) or organic nitrogen (N) (fungal fruit bodies; 90 g m-2 y-1) in the Subarctic influenced the susceptibility of SOM mineralisation to priming, and its microbial underpinnings. Root exudation were simulated with the addition of labile organic matter both in the form of only labile C (13C-glucose) or in the form of labile C and N (13C-alanine). We hypothesized that labile C would induce a higher mineralization of N than C sourced from SOM ("N mining"); a response unrelated to microbial growth responses. We also hypothesized that the N mining effect would be more pronounced in climate change simulation treatments of higher C/N (plant litter) than treatments with lower C/N (fungal fruitbodies and warming), with the control treatments intermediate. We also hypothesized that the addition of labile C and N would not result in selective N mining, but instead coupled responses of C and N mineralisation sourced from SOM; a response that would coincide with stimulated microbial growth responses. Labile C appeared to inhibit the mineralisation of C from SOM by up to 60% within hours. In contrast, the mineralisation of N from SOM was stimulated by up to 300%. These responses occurred rapidly and were unrelated to microbial successional dynamics, suggesting catabolic responses. Considered separately, the labile-C inhibited C mineralisation is compatible with previously reported findings termed 'preferential substrate utilisation' or 'negative apparent priming', while the stimulated N mineralisation responses echo recent reports of 'real priming' of SOM mineralisation. However, C and N mineralisation responses

  19. Amino acid production exceeds plant nitrogen demand in Siberian tundra

    Wild, Birgit; Eloy Alves, Ricardo J.; Bárta, Jiři; Čapek, Petr; Gentsch, Norman; Guggenberger, Georg; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Prommer, Judith; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Urich, Tim; Richter, Andreas

    2018-03-01

    Arctic plant productivity is often limited by low soil N availability. This has been attributed to slow breakdown of N-containing polymers in litter and soil organic matter (SOM) into smaller, available units, and to shallow plant rooting constrained by permafrost and high soil moisture. Using 15N pool dilution assays, we here quantified gross amino acid and ammonium production rates in 97 active layer samples from four sites across the Siberian Arctic. We found that amino acid production in organic layers alone exceeded literature-based estimates of maximum plant N uptake 17-fold and therefore reject the hypothesis that arctic plant N limitation results from slow SOM breakdown. High microbial N use efficiency in organic layers rather suggests strong competition of microorganisms and plants in the dominant rooting zone. Deeper horizons showed lower amino acid production rates per volume, but also lower microbial N use efficiency. Permafrost thaw together with soil drainage might facilitate deeper plant rooting and uptake of previously inaccessible subsoil N, and thereby promote plant productivity in arctic ecosystems. We conclude that changes in microbial decomposer activity, microbial N utilization and plant root density with soil depth interactively control N availability for plants in the Arctic.

  20. Laboratory evaluation of biodegradation of crude oil contaminated tundra soil

    Schepart, B.S.; Hyzy, J.B.; Jorgenson, M.T.

    1992-01-01

    A laboratory experiment was designed to evaluate oil degradation rates in heavily contaminated soil samples from an oil spill site under various redox and nutrient conditions. Reduction of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in the experiment by indigenous bacteria was found to be negligible under aerobic conditions for all nutrient amendments over a 12-week period. The unexpectedly poor performance of the aerobic treatment may have been due to the high concentration of TPH (153,487 ppM) and the slow rate at which indigenous bacteria grew, or the preferential use of biogenic carbon over petroleum hydrocarbons. In contrast, under anaerobic conditions TPH was reduced by 47% in high nitrogen and phosphorous microcosms. The unexpectedly good performance of anaerobic bacteria indicates that promotion of oil degradation in saturated subsurface soils is feasible. The best degradation rates, however, were achieved by application of bacterial amendments, which reduced TPH up to 60% over 12 weeks. The higher degradation rates using bacterial amendments were attributed to the relatively rapid rate at which the bacteria colonized the substrates. This result suggests that bacterial additions in the field would be useful for promoting more rapid degradation of oil, while the slower growing indigenous oil-degrading bacteria population is allowed to increase. 19 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  1. Seasonal and spatial patterns of heterotrophic bacterial production, respiration, and biomass in the subarctic NE Pacific

    Sherry, Nelson D.; Boyd, Philip W.; Sugimoto, Kugako; Harrison, Paul J.

    1999-11-01

    Heterotrophic bacterial biomass, production, and respiration rates were measured during winter, spring, and summer in the subarctic NE Pacific from September 1995 to June 1997. Sampling took place on six cruises at five hydrographic stations along the east/west line-P transect from slope waters at P4 (1200 m depth) to the open-ocean waters at Ocean Station Papa (OSP) (4250 m depth). Interannual variability was small relative to seasonal and spatial variability. Biomass, derived from cell counts (assuming 20 fg C cell -1), was ca. 12 μg C l -1 in the winter and increased to 20-35 μg C l -1 in the spring and summer all along line-P. Bacterial production from [ 3H]-thymidine and [ 14C]-leucine incorporation rates was lowest in the winter (ca. 0.5 μg C l -1 d -1) with little spatial variability. Production increased 10-fold in spring at P4 (to ca. 4.5 μg C l -1 d -1). In contrast, only a 2-fold increase in bacterial production was observed over this period at the more oceanic stations. Rates of production in late summer were highest over the annual cycle at all stations ranging from ca. 6 at P4 to ca. 2 μg C l -1 d -1 at OSP. Bacterial (rates increased >10-fold to ca. 100 μg C l -1 d -1 at P4 in the summer, but, interestingly, did not increase from spring to summer at the more oceanic stations. Thus bacterial growth efficiency, defined as production/(production+respiration), decreased in the spring westwards from the slope waters (P4) to the open-ocean (OSP), but increased westwards in the summer. Bacterial production was highly correlated with temperature at OSP ( r2=0.88) and less so at P4 ( r2=0.50). The observed temporal and spatial trends presented in this study suggest that seasonal changes in bacterial biomass were greatly affected by changes in loss processes, that bacterial biomass is regulated by different processes than bacterial production, and that bacterial production alone, without respiration measurements, is not a robust proxy for bacterial

  2. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

    Ziming Yang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at −2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05 associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol, methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the −2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  3. Distinct soil bacterial communities along a small-scale elevational gradient in alpine tundra

    Congcong eShen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The elevational diversity pattern for microorganisms has received great attention recently but is still understudied, and phylogenetic relatedness is rarely studied for microbial elevational distributions. Using a bar-coded pyrosequencing technique, we examined the biodiversity patterns for soil bacterial communities of tundra ecosystem along 2000–2500 m elevations on Changbai Mountain in China. Bacterial taxonomic richness displayed a linear decreasing trend with increasing elevation. Phylogenetic diversity and mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD exhibited a unimodal pattern with elevation. Bacterial communities were more phylogenetically clustered than expected by chance at all elevations based on the standardized effect size of MNTD metric. The bacterial communities differed dramatically among elevations, and the community composition was significantly correlated with soil total carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratio, and dissolved organic carbon. Multiple ordinary least squares regression analysis showed that the observed biodiversity patterns strongly correlated with soil total carbon and C:N ratio. Taken together, this is the first time that a significant bacterial diversity pattern has been observed across a small-scale elevational gradient. Our results indicated that soil carbon and nitrogen contents were the critical environmental factors affecting bacterial elevational distribution in Changbai Mountain tundra. This suggested that ecological niche-based environmental filtering processes related to soil carbon and nitrogen contents could play a dominant role in structuring bacterial communities along the elevational gradient.

  4. Fire Effects at the Tundra-Boreal Ecotone in Interior Alaska

    Howard, B. K.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.; Walker, X. J.; Roland, C.

    2016-12-01

    Climate warming in northern latitudes has led to an intensification of disturbance by wildfire. Little is known about the effects of fire on tundra vegetation. Changes in vegetation composition could have important implications for carbon cycling , and may feedback positively or negatively to future climate change (Randerson et al., 2006). Our study utilizes extensive pre-fire ecological data collected by the National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program to assess the prefire conditions important in driving successional pathways within Denali National Park and Preserve. In 2013, the East Toklat fire burned 30,000 acres of tussock tundra and mixed white and black spruce forest at a high severity, which encompassed 50 NPS plots that were originally monitored in 2003. Our sampling occurred the summer of 2016 following the same NPS protocols to assess post-fire vegetation composition. In addition, we conducted a seeding experiment using locally collected white and black spruce seed to assess natural and potential tree regeneration in unburned and post fire environments. Seed traps were established along our transects to assess seed rain. A multivariate approach will be used to assess post-fire community dynamics and future field seasons will address tree germination and survival rates. These data will then be coupled with pre and post-fire ecological data to parse out important factors driving secondary succession.

  5. Nesting ecology of tundra swans on the coastal Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

    Babcock, C.A.; Fowler, A.C.; Ely, Craig R.

    2002-01-01

    Nesting ecology of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) was studies the Kashunuk River near Old Chevak (61A?26a??N, 165A?27a??W), on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of western Alaska from 1988-2000. Annual variation in snow-melt chronology, nesting phenology, nesting density, clutch size and nest success was examined. The same area (approximately 23 kmA?) was searched each year and nests were found as early as possible in the laying period. Laying initiation dates ranged from 1-27 May and hatch dates from 12 June a?? 4 July among pairs and years of study. The peak arrival of Tundra Swans and the phenology of nest initiation and hatch were highly correlated with the progression of ice and snow melt in spring. Nest density averaged 0.71 kmA? and 89% of nesting pairs hatched at least one egg. Incubation period ranged from 26 to 33 days with a median of 30 days. Clutch size varied significantly among years, driven by a low mean value of 3.4 eggs in 1999. Clutch sizes were generally larger than found in previous investigations on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and nearly one egg larger than reported for clutches from Alaskaa??s North Slope (=70A?N). There was no indication of reduced clutch size in years of late spring snow melt, although nesting density tended to be lower.

  6. Size and mass of grit in gizzards of sandhill cranes, tundra swans, and mute swans

    Franson, J. Christian; Hansen, Scott P.; Duerr, Adam E.; DeStefano, Stephen

    2001-01-01

    Because it has been suggested that waterbirds may ingest lost or discarded lead fishing weights as grit, we examined grit in the gizzards of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis), Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus), and Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), three species where individuals have been poisoned by the ingestion of lead fishing weights. The greatest proportion (by mass) of grit in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes consisted of particles with a minimum dimension of 2.36-4.75 mm. Grit particles in swans were much smaller, with the most prevalent (by mass) being 0.6-1.18 mm. The greatest dimension of the largest grit particle found in cranes and swans was 17.4 mm and 14.0 mm, respectively. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a ban on lead fishing weights of ≤25.4 mm in any dimension. Based on the size of grit particles that we found in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes, Mute Swans, and Tundra Swans, we believe it is unlikely that individuals of those species would ingest, as grit, lead fishing weights larger than 25.4 mm in any dimension.

  7. Reduced arctic tundra productivity linked with landform and climate change interactions

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; Martin, Philip; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems have experienced unprecedented change associated with climate warming over recent decades. Across the Pan-Arctic, vegetation productivity and surface greenness have trended positively over the period of satellite observation. However, since 2011 these trends have slowed considerably, showing signs of browning in many regions. It is unclear what factors are driving this change and which regions/landforms will be most sensitive to future browning. Here we provide evidence linking decadal patterns in arctic greening and browning with regional climate change and local permafrost-driven landscape heterogeneity. We analyzed the spatial variability of decadal-scale trends in surface greenness across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km²) using the Landsat archive (1999–2014), in combination with novel 30 m classifications of polygonal tundra and regional watersheds, finding landscape heterogeneity and regional climate change to be the most important factors controlling historical greenness trends. Browning was linked to increased temperature and precipitation, with the exception of young landforms (developed following lake drainage), which will likely continue to green. Spatiotemporal model forecasting suggests carbon uptake potential to be reduced in response to warmer and/or wetter climatic conditions, potentially increasing the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere, at a greater degree than previously expected.

  8. Herbivores rescue diversity in warming tundra by modulating trait-dependent species losses and gains.

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Eskelinen, Anu; Olofsson, Johan

    2017-09-04

    Climate warming is altering the diversity of plant communities but it remains unknown which species will be lost or gained under warming, especially considering interactions with other factors such as herbivory and nutrient availability. Here, we experimentally test effects of warming, mammalian herbivory and fertilization on tundra species richness and investigate how plant functional traits affect losses and gains. We show that herbivory reverses the impact of warming on diversity: in the presence of herbivores warming increases species richness through higher species gains and lower losses, while in the absence of herbivores warming causes higher species losses and thus decreases species richness. Herbivores promote gains of short-statured species under warming, while herbivore removal and fertilization increase losses of short-statured and resource-conservative species through light limitation. Our results demonstrate that both rarity and traits forecast species losses and gains, and mammalian herbivores are essential for preventing trait-dependent extinctions and mitigate diversity loss under warming and eutrophication.Warming can reduce plant diversity but it is unclear which species will be lost or gained under interacting global changes. Kaarlejärvi et al. manipulate temperature, herbivory and nutrients in a tundra system and find that herbivory maintains diversity under warming by reducing species losses and promoting gains.

  9. Physicochemical and Microbiological Characteristics of Tundra Soils on the Rybachii Peninsula

    Evdokimova, G. A.; Mozgova, N. P.; Myazin, V. A.

    2018-01-01

    The Rybachii Peninsula is composed of Proterozoic sedimentary rocks and differs sharply from the rest of the Kola Peninsula in its geological structure, topographic forms, and parent rocks. It is dominated by Al-Fe-humus soils formed on moraines with an admixture of local rock fragments, including slates. Organic horizons of tundra soils in the peninsula are less acid than those on granitoids of adjacent mainland of the Kola Peninsula. The content of exchangeable calcium in the organic horizons varies from 17.4 to 68.0 cmolc/kg, and the content of water-soluble carbon reaches 400 mg/100 g amounting to 1-2% of the total soil organic matter content. The total number of bacteria in the organic horizons of tundra soils varies from 3.5 × 109 to 4.8 × 109 cells/g; and bacterial biomass varies from 0.14 to 0.19 mg/g. The length of fungal mycelium and its biomass in the organic horizons are significant (>1000 m/g soil). The biomass of fungal mycelium in the organic horizons exceeds the bacterial biomass by seven times in podzols (Albic Podzols) and by ten times in podbur (Entic Podzol), dry-peat soil (Folic Histosol), and low-moor peat soil (Sapric Histosol).

  10. The sign, magnitude and potential drivers of change in surface water extent in Canadian tundra

    Carroll, Mark L.; Loboda, Tatiana V.

    2018-04-01

    The accelerated rate of warming in the Arctic has considerable implications for all components of ecosystem functioning in the High Northern Latitudes. Changes to hydrological cycle in the Arctic are particularly complex as the observed and projected warming directly impacts permafrost and leads to variable responses in surface water extent which is currently poorly characterized at the regional scale. In this study we take advantage of the 30 plus years of medium resolution (30 m) Landsat data to quantify the spatial patterns of change in the extent of water bodies in the Arctic tundra in Nunavut, Canada. Our results show a divergent pattern of change—growing surface water extent in the north-west and shrinking in the south-east—which is not a function of the overall distribution of surface water in the region. The observed changes cannot be explained by latitudinal stratification, nor is it explained by available temperature and precipitation records. However, the sign of change appears to be consistent within the boundaries of individual watersheds defined by the Canada National Hydro Network based on the random forest analysis. Using land cover maps as a proxy for ecological function we were able to link shrinking tundra water bodies to substrates with shallow soil layers (i.e. bedrock and barren landscapes) with a moderate correlation (R 2 = 0.46, p evaporation as an important driver of surface water decrease in these cases.

  11. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  12. Carbon stocks and fluxes in the high latitudes: using site-levelbreak data to evaluate Earth system models

    Chadburn, S. E.; Krinner, G.; Porada, P.

    2017-01-01

    from northward expansion of vegetation under climate warming. Here we evaluate the simulation of tundra carbon stocks and fluxes in three land surface schemes that each form part of major Earth system models (JSBACH, Germany; JULES, UK; ORCHIDEE, France). We use a site-level approach in which...

  13. Impact of Euro-Canadian agrarian practices: in search of sustainable import-substitution strategies to enhance food security in subarctic Ontario, Canada.

    Spiegelaar, Nicole F; Tsuji, Leonard J S

    2013-01-01

    In Canada, food insecurity exists among Aboriginal (Inuit, Metis and First Nations) people living in remote northern communities, in part, because of their reliance on the industrialized, import-based food system. Local food production as a substitute to imports would be an adaptive response, but enhancement of food security via food localization requires reflection on previous failings of conventional agricultural strategies so that informed decisions can be made. In light of potential reintroduction of local food production in remote First Nations communities, we investigated the cultural, social and ecological effects of a 20th century, Euro-Canadian agrarian settlement on the food system of a subarctic First Nation; this will act as the first step in developing a more sustainable local food program and enhancing food security in this community. To investigate the socio-cultural impacts of the Euro-Canadian agrarian initiative on the food system of Fort Albany First Nation, purposive, semi-directive interviews were conducted with elders and other knowledgeable community members. Interview data were placed into themes using inductive analyses. To determine the biophysical impact of the agrarian initiative, soil samples were taken from one site within the cultivated area and from one site in an undisturbed forest area. Soil properties associated with agricultural use and productivity were assessed. To compare the means of a given soil property between the sites, one-tailed t-tests were employed. Vegetative analysis was conducted in both sites to assess disturbance. According to the interviewees, prior to the agrarian initiative, First Nation families harvested wild game and fish, and gathered berries as well as other forms of vegetation for sustenance. With the introduction of the residential school and agrarian initiative, traditional food practices were deemed inadequate, families were forced to work and live in the settlement (becoming less reliant on

  14. Carbon storage in permafrost and soils of the mammoth tundra-steppe biome: role in the global carbon budget

    N.S. Zimov; S.A. Zimov; A.E. Zimova; G.M. Zimova; V.I. Chuprynin; F.S. Chapin

    2009-01-01

    During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), atmospheric CO2 concentration was 80-100 ppmv lower than in preindustrial times. At that time steppe-tundra was the most extensive biome on Earth. Some authors assume that C storage in that biome was very small, similar to today's deserts, and that the terrestrial carbon (C) reservoir increased at the...

  15. Structural complexity and land-surface energy exchange along a gradient from arctic tundra to boreal forest

    Thompson, C.; Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; McGuire, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    Question: Current climate changes in the Alaskan Arctic, which are characterized by increases in temperature and length of growing season, could alter vegetation structure, especially through increases in shrub cover or the movement of treeline. These changes in vegetation structure have consequences for the climate system. What is the relationship between structural complexity and partitioning of surface energy along a gradient from tundra through shrub tundra to closed canopy forest? Location: Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in the Alaskan Arctic. Methods: Along this gradient of increasing canopy complexity, we measured key vegetation characteristics, including community composition, biomass, cover, height, leaf area index and stem area index. We relate these vegetation characteristics to albedo and the partitioning of net radiation into ground, latent, and sensible heating fluxes. Results: Canopy complexity increased along the sequence from tundra to forest due to the addition of new plant functional types. This led to non-linear changes in biomass, cover, and height in the understory. The increased canopy complexity resulted in reduced ground heat fluxes, relatively conserved latent heat fluxes and increased sensible heat fluxes. The localized warming associated with increased sensible heating over more complex canopies may amplify regional warming, causing further vegetation change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  16. Soil nutrients, landscape age, and Sphagno-Eriophoretum vaginati plant communities in Arctic moist-acidic Tundra landscapes

    Joel Mercado-Diaz; William Gould; Grizelle Gonzalez

    2014-01-01

    Most research exploring the relationship between soil chemistry and vegetation in Alaskan Arctic tundra landscapes has focused on describing differences in soil elemental concentrations (e.g. C, N and P) of areas with contrasting vegetation types or landscape age. In this work we assess the effect of landscape age on physico-chemical parameters in organic and mineral...

  17. Depth-based differentiation in nitrogen uptake between graminoids and shrubs in an Arctic tundra plant community

    Wang, Peng; Limpens, Juul; Nauta, Ake; Huissteden, van Corine; Rijssel, van Sophie Quirina; Mommer, Liesje; Kroon, de Hans; Maximov, Trofim C.; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.

    2018-01-01

    Questions: The rapid climate warming in tundra ecosystems can increase nutrient availability in the soil, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making the understanding

  18. Combined effects of environmental disturbance and climate warming on insect herbivory in mountain birch in subarctic forests: Results of 26-year monitoring.

    Kozlov, M V; Zverev, V; Zvereva, E L

    2017-12-01

    Both pollution and climate affect insect-plant interactions, but the combined effects of these two abiotic drivers of global change on insect herbivory remain almost unexplored. From 1991 to 2016, we monitored the population densities of 25 species or species groups of insects feeding on mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) in 29 sites and recorded leaf damage by insects in 21 sites in subarctic forests around the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk, north-western Russia. The leaf-eating insects demonstrated variable, and sometimes opposite, responses to pollution-induced forest disturbance and to climate variations. Consequently, we did not discover any general trend in herbivory along the disturbance gradient. Densities of eight species/species groups correlated with environmental disturbance, but these correlations weakened from 1991 to 2016, presumably due to the fivefold decrease in emissions of sulphur dioxide and heavy metals from the smelter. The densities of externally feeding defoliators decreased from 1991 to 2016 and the densities of leafminers increased, while the leaf roller densities remained unchanged. Consequently, no overall temporal trend in the abundance of birch-feeding insects emerged despite a 2-3°C elevation in spring temperatures. Damage to birch leaves by insects decreased during the observation period in heavily disturbed forests, did not change in moderately disturbed forests and tended to increase in pristine forests. The temporal stability of insect-plant interactions, quantified by the inverse of the coefficient of among-year variations of herbivore population densities and of birch foliar damage, showed a negative correlation with forest disturbance. We conclude that climate differently affects insect herbivory in heavily stressed versus pristine forests, and that herbivorous insects demonstrate diverse responses to environmental disturbance and climate variations. This diversity of responses, in combination with the

  19. Food web topology and parasites in the pelagic zone of a subarctic lake

    Amundsen, Per-Arne; Lafferty, K.D.; Knudsen, R.; Primicerio, R.; Klemetsen, A.; Kuris, A.M.

    2009-01-01

    Parasites permeate trophic webs with their often complex life cycles, but few studies have included parasitism in food web analyses. Here we provide a highly resolved food web from the pelagic zone of a subarctic lake and explore how the incorporation of parasites alters the topology of the web. 2. Parasites used hosts at all trophic levels and increased both food-chain lengths and the total number of trophic levels. Their inclusion in the network analyses more than doubled the number of links and resulted in an increase in important food-web characteristics such as linkage density and connectance. 3. More than half of the parasite taxa were trophically transmitted, exploiting hosts at multiple trophic levels and thus increasing the degree of omnivory in the trophic web. 4. For trophically transmitted parasites, the number of parasite-host links exhibited a positive correlation with the linkage density of the host species, whereas no such relationship was seen for nontrophically transmitted parasites. Our findings suggest that the linkage density of free-living species affects their exposure to trophically transmitted parasites, which may be more likely to adopt highly connected species as hosts during the evolution of complex life cycles. 5. The study supports a prominent role for parasites in ecological networks and demonstrates that their incorporation may substantially alter considerations of food-web structure and functioning. ?? 2009 British Ecological Society.

  20. Rapid responses of permafrost and vegetation to experimentally increased snow cover in sub-arctic Sweden

    Johansson, Margareta; Bosiö, Julia; Akerman, H Jonas; Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin; Christensen, Torben R; Callaghan, Terry V

    2013-01-01

    Increased snow depth already observed, and that predicted for the future are of critical importance to many geophysical and biological processes as well as human activities. The future characteristics of sub-arctic landscapes where permafrost is particularly vulnerable will depend on complex interactions between snow cover, vegetation and permafrost. An experimental manipulation was, therefore, set up on a lowland peat plateau with permafrost, in northernmost Sweden, to simulate projected future increases in winter precipitation and to study their effects on permafrost and vegetation. After seven years of treatment, statistically significant differences between manipulated and control plots were found in mean winter ground temperatures, which were 1.5 ° C higher in manipulated plots. During the winter, a difference in minimum temperatures of up to 9 ° C higher could be found in individual manipulated plots compared with control plots. Active layer thicknesses increased at the manipulated plots by almost 20% compared with the control plots and a mean surface subsidence of 24 cm was recorded in the manipulated plots compared to 5 cm in the control plots. The graminoid Eriophorum vaginatum has expanded in the manipulated plots and the vegetation remained green longer in the season. (letter)

  1. Some factors effecting algal consumption in subarctic Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Simuliidae

    Moore, J.W.

    1977-01-01

    Some of the factors influencing algal consumption in the mayflies Leptophlebia nebulosa, Cinygmula tarda, Baetis foemina and B. cf. bicaudatus, the plecopterans Arcynopteryx signata, Nemoura cinctipes and N. oregonensis and in the dipterans Simulium arcticum, S. venustum and S. decorum were investigated between June 1975 and June 1976 in several streams in the Canadian subarctic. Algae represented up to 65% of the gut contents of L. nebulosa but only 0--8% in the other mayflies. They were important in the plecopterans (85--90%) but less so (2--13%) in the simuliids. Most of the interspecies variability in algal consumption could be explained in terms of food availability. This factor was in turn dependent on the density and attachment characteristics of the flora and the strength of their cell wall. Feeding intensity in most species was low between October and April, reaching it peak in July and August. From 51 to 83% of intraspecies feeding variability was due to changing temperature, followed in importance by water velocity in the dipterans and food availability in the mayflies. All species in this latter group ceased feeding in the final instar stages.

  2. Compositional Stability of the Bacterial Community in a Climate-Sensitive Sub-Arctic Peatland.

    Weedon, James T; Kowalchuk, George A; Aerts, Rien; Freriks, Stef; Röling, Wilfred F M; van Bodegom, Peter M

    2017-01-01

    The climate sensitivity of microbe-mediated soil processes such as carbon and nitrogen cycling offers an interesting case for evaluating the corresponding sensitivity of microbial community composition to environmental change. Better understanding of the degree of linkage between functional and compositional stability would contribute to ongoing efforts to build mechanistic models aiming at predicting rates of microbe-mediated processes. We used an amplicon sequencing approach to test if previously observed large effects of experimental soil warming on C and N cycle fluxes (50-100% increases) in a sub-arctic Sphagnum peatland were reflected in changes in the composition of the soil bacterial community. We found that treatments that previously induced changes to fluxes did not associate with changes in the phylogenetic composition of the soil bacterial community. For both DNA- and RNA-based analyses, variation in bacterial communities could be explained by the hierarchy: spatial variation (12-15% of variance explained) > temporal variation (7-11%) > climate treatment (4-9%). We conclude that the bacterial community in this environment is stable under changing conditions, despite the previously observed sensitivity of process rates-evidence that microbe-mediated soil processes can alter without concomitant changes in bacterial communities. We propose that progress in linking soil microbial communities to ecosystem processes can be advanced by further investigating the relative importance of community composition effects versus physico-chemical factors in controlling biogeochemical process rates in different contexts.

  3. Increasing frequency of plastic particles ingested by seabirds in the subarctic North Pacific

    Robards, Martin D.; Piatt, John F.; Wohl, Kenton D.

    1995-01-01

    We examined gut contents of 1799 seabirds comprising 24 species collected in 1988-1990 to assess the types and quantities of plastic particles ingested by seabirds in the subarctic waters of Alaska. Of the 15 species found to ingest plastic, most were surface-feeders (shearwaters, petrels, gulls) or plankton-feeding divers (auklets, puffins). Of 4417 plastic particles examined, 76% were industrial pellets and 21% were fragments of ‘user’ plastic. Ingestion rates varied geographically, but no trends were evident and rates of plastic ingestion varied far more among species within areas than within species among areas. Comparison with similar data from 1968 seabirds comprising 37 species collected in 1969-1977 revealed that plastic ingestion by seabirds has increased significantly during the 10–15-year interval between studies. This was demonstrated by: (i) an increase in the total number of species ingesting plastic; (ii) an increase in the frequency of occurrence of plastic particles within species that ingested plastic; and, (iii) an increase in the mean number of plastic particles ingested by individuals of those species.

  4. Effects of iron, manganese, copper, and zinc enrichments on productivity and biomass in the subarctic Pacific

    Coale, K.H.

    1991-01-01

    Natural plankton populations from subarctic Pacific surface waters were incubated in 7-d experiments with added concentrations of Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. Small additions of metals were used to simulate natural perturbations in metal concentrations potentially experienced by marine plankton. Trace metal concentrations, phytoplankton productivity, Chl a, and the species composition of phytoplankton and microzooplankton were measured over the course of the experiment. Although the controls indicated little growth, increases in phytoplankton productivity, Chl a, and cell densities were dramatic after the addition of 0.89 nM Fe, indicating that it may limit the rates of algal production in these waters. Similar increases were observed in experiments with 3.9 nM Cu added. The Cu effect is attributed to a decrease in the grazing activities of the microzooplankton and increases in the rates of production. Mn enrichment had its greatest effect on diatom biomass, whereas Zn enrichment had its greatest effect on other autofluorescent organisms. The extent of trace metal adsorption onto carboy walls was also evaluated. These results imply that natural systems may be affected as follows: natural levels of Fe and Cu may influence phytoplankton productivity and trophic structure in open-ocean, high-nutrient, low-biomass systems; rates of net production are not limited by one micronutrient alone

  5. Wintertime pytoplankton bloom in the Subarctic Pacific supportedby continental margin iron

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K.B.; Henning, Cara C.; Marcus,Matthew A.; Waychunas, Glenn A.; Fung, Inez

    2004-06-08

    Heightened biological activity was observed in February 1996in the high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) subarctic North PacificOcean, a region that is thought to beiron-limited. Here we provideevidence supporting the hypothesis that Ocean Station Papa (OSP) in thesubarctic Pacific received a lateral supply of particulate iron from thecontinental margin off the Aleutian Islands in the winter, coincidentwith the observed biological bloom. Synchrotron X-ray analysis was usedto describe the physical form, chemistry, and depth distributions of ironin size fractionated particulate matter samples. The analysis revealsthat discrete micron-sized iron-rich hotspots are ubiquitous in the upper200m at OSP, more than 900km from the closest coast. The specifics of thechemistry and depth profiles of the Fe hot spots trace them to thecontinental margins. We thus hypothesize that iron hotspots are a markerfor the delivery of iron from the continental margin. We confirm thedelivery of continental margin iron to the open ocean using an oceangeneral circulation model with an iron-like tracer source at thecontinental margin. We suggest that iron from the continental marginstimulated a wintertime phytoplankton bloom, partially relieving the HNLCcondition.

  6. Diverse Mesorhizobium bacteria nodulate native Astragalus and Oxytropis in arctic and subarctic areas in Eurasia.

    Ampomah, Osei Yaw; Mousavi, Seyed Abdollah; Lindström, Kristina; Huss-Danell, Kerstin

    2017-01-01

    Rhizobia nodulating native Astragalus and Oxytropis spp. in Northern Europe are not well-studied. In this study, we isolated bacteria from nodules of four Astragalus spp. and two Oxytropis spp. from the arctic and subarctic regions of Sweden and Russia. The phylogenetic analyses were performed by using sequences of three housekeeping genes (16S rRNA, rpoB and recA) and two accessory genes (nodC and nifH). The results of our multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) of the three housekeeping genes tree showed that all the 13 isolates belonged to the genus Mesorhizobium and were positioned in six clades. Our concatenated housekeeping gene tree also suggested that the isolates nodulating Astragalus inopinatus, Astragalus frigidus, Astragalus alpinus ssp. alpinus and Oxytropis revoluta might be designated as four new Mesorhizobium species. The 13 isolates were grouped in three clades in the nodC and nifH trees. 15 N analysis suggested that the legumes in association with these isolates were actively fixing nitrogen. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  7. The Biogeochemical Response to Inter-decadal Atmospheric Forcing Across Watershed Scales in Canada's Subarctic

    Spence, C.

    2016-12-01

    Rapid landscape changes in the circumpolar north have been documented, including degradation of permafrost and alteration of vegetation communities. These are widely expected to have profound impacts on the freshwater fluxes of solutes, carbon and nitrogen across the Arctic domain. However, there have been few attempts to document trends across the diversity of landscapes in the circumpolar north, mostly due to a dearth of long term data. Some of the fastest rates of warming over the last thirty years have occurred in Canada's Northwest Territories, so this region should already exhibit changes in aquatic chemistry. Observations of chemical loads in streams draining the ice-poor discontinuous permafrost subarctic Canadian Shield region were analyzed with the goal of determining how basins across scales have responded to changes in atmospheric forcing. Smaller streams, with much closer linkages to terrestrial processes, experienced a synchrony among hydrological and biogeochemical processes that enhanced chemical flux above that in their larger counterparts. This demonstrates that there are differences in resiliency and resistance across scales to climate change. These results highlight the importance of biogeochemical process understanding to properly explain and predict how chemical loading scales from headwaters to river mouths. This is important information if society is to properly adapt policies for effluent discharge, nearshore marine management, among others.

  8. Phytoplankton growth and herbivory in the subarctic Pacific: A chemotaxonomic analysis

    Welschmeyer, N.; Goericke, R.; Strom, S.; Peterson, W.

    1991-01-01

    Chlorophyll crops in the subarctic Pacific are low and relatively constant throughout the year; however, net growth of phytoplankton occurs when natural water is enclosed in incubation containers and exposed to adequate irradiance. Pigment-based measurements of taxon-specific growth rates and taxon-specific grazing pressure were made in an attempt to understand the dynamic processes leading to the net growth of phytoplankton in bottles. Specific growth rates, determined from 14 C labeling of chromatographically separated pigments showed that fucoxanthin-containing cells (diatoms) were the fastest growing microalgae; a rapid net accumulation of fucoxanthin also occurred. Independent measurements of specific growth rates, determined from chromatographic analysis of microzooplankton dilution experiments, also showed that fucoxanthin-containing cells had the highest specific growth rates. Importantly, microzooplankton grazing rates on fucoxanthin-containing cells were only about half the specific growth rate; hence, the resultant bloom of fucoxanthin. The authors speculate that the lag in chlorophyll growth that has been reported previously is an artifact of subculturing; fast-growing, but dilute, fucoxanthin-containing cells do not become a significant portion of the total chlorophyll signal until late in the experiment. Other diagnostic carotenoids, such as 19'-hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin and 19'-butanoyloxyfucoxanthin, remained nearly constant through long-term incubations. However, they became actively 14 C labeled and showed positive specific rates of growth. Dilution experiments showed that their specific growth rate was compensated by microzooplankton grazing

  9. Feasibility analysis of a smart grid photovoltaics system for the subarctic rural region in Alaska

    Yao, Lei

    A smart grid photovoltaics system was developed to demonstrate that the system is feasible for a similar off-grid rural community in the subarctic region in Alaska. A system generation algorithm and a system business model were developed to determine feasibility. Based on forecasts by the PV F-Chart software, a 70° tilt angle in winter, and a 34° tilt angle in summer were determined to be the best angles for electrical output. The proposed system's electricity unit cost was calculated at 32.3 cents/kWh that is cheaper than current unsubsidized electricity price (46.8 cents/kWh) in off-grid rural communities. Given 46.8 cents/kWh as the electricity unit price, the system provider can break even when 17.3 percent of the total electrical revenue through power generated by the proposed system is charged. Given these results, the system can be economically feasible during the life-cycle period. With further incentives, the system may have a competitive advantage.

  10. Activity and diversity of methane-oxidizing bacteria along a Norwegian sub-Arctic glacier forefield.

    Mateos-Rivera, Alejandro; Øvreås, Lise; Wilson, Bryan; Yde, Jacob C; Finster, Kai W

    2018-05-01

    Methane (CH4) is one of the most abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and identification of its sources and sinks is crucial for the reliability of climate model outputs. Although CH4 production and consumption rates have been reported from a broad spectrum of environments, data obtained from glacier forefields are restricted to a few locations. We report the activities of methanotrophic communities and their diversity along a chronosequence in front of a sub-Arctic glacier using high-throughput sequencing and gas flux measurements. CH4 oxidation rates were measured in the field throughout the growing season during three sampling times at eight different sampling points in combination with laboratory incubation experiments. The overall results showed that the methanotrophic community had similar trends of increased CH4 consumption and increased abundance as a function of soil development and time of year. Sequencing results revealed that the methanotrophic community was dominated by a few OTUs and that a short-term increase in CH4 concentration, as performed in the field measurements, altered slightly the relative abundance of the OTUs.

  11. Habitat quality of a subarctic nursery ground for 0-group plaice ( Pleuronectes platessa L.)

    Freitas, Vânia; Campos, Joana; Skreslet, Stig; van der Veer, Henk W.

    2010-07-01

    Habitat quality of a subarctic nursery ground in northern Norway for 0-group plaice Pleuronectes platessa was investigated by following settlement, mortality and growth during 2005 and 2006. Newly settled individuals were first observed in the end of May to early June and settlement lasted until mid-July. Densities peaked in early July and were comparable to those reported in temperate nursery grounds. Mortality estimates after settlement differed between 0.062 d -1 in 2005 and 0.025 d -1 in 2006. Potential predators appeared to be rather similar as those reported in other areas: the brown shrimp Crangoncrangon, the shore crab Carcinus maenas and demersal fish species (gadoids). Population mean growth indicated linear growth until August leveling-off afterwards. 0-group plaice reached a lower mean size (5-6 cm) at the end of the growing season than in temperate areas probably due to later settlement timing in combination with lower summer-autumn water temperatures. The comparison of observed growth rates with predictions of maximum growth models indicated a similar pattern as observed in temperate nursery grounds: Growth appeared to be maximal except for the period after summer. Whether or not this was related to changes in food quality throughout the season, to interspecies competition or to emigration remains to be elucidated.

  12. The relative contributions of biological and abiotic processes to carbon dynamics in subarctic sea ice

    Søgaard, Dorte Haubjerg; Thomas, David; Rysgaard, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge on the relative effects of biological activity and precipitation/dissolution of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in influencing the air-ice CO2 exchange in sea-ice-covered season is currently lacking. Furthermore, the spatial and temporal occurrence of CaCO3 and other biogeochemical parameters...... in sea ice are still not well described. Here we investigated autotrophic and heterotrophic activity as well as the precipitation/dissolution of CaCO3 in subarctic sea ice in South West Greenland. Integrated over the entire ice season (71 days), the sea ice was net autotrophic with a net carbon fixation...... and CaCO3 precipitation. The net biological production could only explain 4 % of this sea-ice-driven CO2 uptake. Abiotic processes contributed to an air-sea CO2 uptake of 1.5 mmol m(-2) sea ice day(-1), and dissolution of CaCO3 increased the air-sea CO2 uptake by 36 % compared to a theoretical estimate...

  13. How spatial variation in areal extent and configuration of labile vegetation states affect the riparian bird community in Arctic tundra.

    John-André Henden

    Full Text Available The Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by large herbivores and growing human activity. Thickets of tall shrubs represent a conspicuous vegetation state in northern and temperate ecosystems, where it serves important ecological functions, including habitat for wildlife. Thickets are however labile, as tall shrubs respond rapidly to both abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. Our aim was to assess how large-scale spatial variation in willow thicket areal extent, configuration and habitat structure affected bird abundance, occupancy rates and species richness so as to provide an empirical basis for predicting the outcome of environmental change for riparian tundra bird communities. Based on a 4-year count data series, obtained through a large-scale study design in low arctic tundra in northern Norway, statistical hierarchical community models were deployed to assess relations between habitat configuration and bird species occupancy and community richness. We found that species abundance, occupancy and richness were greatly affected by willow areal extent and configuration, habitat features likely to be affected by intense ungulate browsing as well as climate warming. In sum, total species richness was maximized in large and tall willow patches of small to intermediate degree of fragmentation. These community effects were mainly driven by responses in the occupancy rates of species depending on tall willows for foraging and breeding, while species favouring other vegetation states were not affected. In light of the predicted climate driven willow shrub encroachment in riparian tundra habitats, our study predicts that many bird species would increase in abundance, and that the bird community as a whole could become enriched. Conversely, in tundra regions where overabundance of large herbivores leads to decreased areal extent, reduced height and increased fragmentation

  14. The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    2014-05-01

    The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra. Ludovica D'Imperio1, Anders Michelsen1, Christian J. Jørgensen1, Bo Elberling1 1Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark At Northern latitudes climatic changes are predicted to be most pronounced resulting in increasing active layer depth and changes in growing season length, vegetation cover and nutrient cycling. As a consequence of increased temperature, large stocks of carbon stored in the permafrost-affected soils could become available for microbial transformations and under anoxic conditions result in increasing methane production affecting net methane (CH4) budget. Arctic tundra soils also serves as an important sink of atmospheric CH4 by microbial oxidation under aerobic conditions. While several process studies have documented the mechanisms behind both production and emissions of CH4 in arctic ecosystems, an important knowledge gap exists with respect to the in situ dynamics of microbial-driven uptake of CH4 in arctic dry lands which may be enhanced as a consequence of global warming and thereby counterbalancing CH4 emissions from Arctic wetlands. In-situ methane measurements were made in a dry Arctic tundra in Disko Island, Western Greenland, during the summer 2013 to assess the role of seasonal and inter-annual variations in temperatures and snow cover. The experimental set-up included snow fences installed in 2012, allowed investigations of the emissions of GHGs from soil under increased winter snow deposition and ambient field conditions. The soil fluxes of CH4 and CO2 were measured using closed chambers in manipulated plots with increased summer temperatures and shrub removal with or without increased winter precipitation. At the control plots, the averaged seasonal CH4 oxidation rates ranged between -0.05 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of August) and -0.32 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of June). In the

  15. Decadal changes in tundra land cover on Yamal Peninsula, Northwest Siberia

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Macias-Fauria, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Yamal-Nenets Okrug in Russia has experienced significant changes in land use and climate in recent decades. Average year-round air temperatures have increased ca. 2°C since the 1970's, with much - but not all - of the warming taking place in winter. In association with ongoing summer warming, the annual growth of erect deciduous shrubs has been accelerating while growing season seasonality has diminished, characterized by shifts in the spatial patterns of key phenological parameters. We prepared LANDSAT-derived land cover classifications for 1988 and 2014 using change detection analysis, supported by extensive ground truthing bolstered with data from Very High-Resolution (VHR) imagery (e.g. Quickbird-2, Worldview-2/3). Research was conducted within summer reindeer pastures utilized by the Yarsalinksi sovhoz, whose animals are collectively owned, as well as many privately-owned herds. The area represents bioclimatic Subzone D of the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map and covers about 8500 km2. This is a key subzone for several reasons: (1) it includes Bovanenkovo, the first and largest gas deposit on Yamal to be developed; (2) it is a zone of extremely active periglacial processes (e.g. active layer detachment slides, lake drainage and recent methane-mediated craters); and (3) it is characterized by steadily increasing growth of tall willow shrubs (Salix spp.), which comprise an important source of fodder by reindeer migrating through the area in summer. These results are unique as our dataset: (1) covers sizable inland regions lying entirely within the Russian tundra zone; (2) derives from extensive ground truthing; and (3) treats all plant taxonomic groups (vascular, bryophytes, lichens) at the plot scale. Here we present the first such classifications, based on LANDSAT images from 1988 and 2014. We identify 16 classes ranging from bare ground and drained lakes, anthropogenic disturbances, through several wetland types, to various dwarf and erect tundra shrub

  16. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    Boelman, Natalie T [Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964 (United States); Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R [Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Greaves, Heather, E-mail: nboelman@ldeo.columbia.edu [Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States)

    2011-07-15

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI{sub pre-leaf}), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI{sub demi-leaf}) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI{sub peak-leaf}). We found that: (1) NDVI{sub pre-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI{sub peak-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI{sub demi-leaf} does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative

  17. Demographic outcomes of diverse migration strategies assessed in a metapopulation of tundra swans.

    Ely, Craig R; Meixell, Brandt W

    2016-01-01

    Migration is a prominent aspect of the life history of many avian species, but the demographic consequences of variable migration strategies have only infrequently been investigated, and rarely when using modern technological and analytical methods for assessing survival, movement patterns, and long-term productivity in the context of life history theory. We monitored the fates of 50 satellite-implanted tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) over 4 years from five disparate breeding areas in Alaska, and used known-fate analyses to estimate monthly survival probability relative to migration distance, breeding area, migratory flyway, breeding status, and age. We specifically tested whether migratory birds face a trade-off, whereby long-distance migrants realize higher survival rates at the cost of lower productivity because of reduced time on breeding areas relative to birds that migrate shorter distances and spend more time on breeding areas. Annual migration distances varied significantly among breeding areas (1020 to 12720 km), and were strongly negatively correlated with time spent on breeding areas (r = -0.986). Estimates of annual survival probability varied by wintering area (Pacific coast, Alaska Peninsula, and Eastern seaboard) and ranged from 0.79 (95%CI: 0.70-0.88) to 1.0, depending on criteria used to discern mortalities from radio failures. We did not find evidence for a linear relationship between migration distance and survival as swans from the breeding areas with the shortest and longest migration distances had the highest survival probabilities. Survival was lower in the first year post-marking than in subsequent years, but there was not support for seasonal differences in survival. Productivity varied among breeding populations and was generally inversely correlated to survival, but not migration distance or time spent on breeding areas. Tundra swans conformed to a major tenet of life history theory, as populations with the highest survival

  18. Understanding Pan-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Change Through Long-term Remotely Sensed Data

    Bhatt, U.; Walker, D. A.; Bieniek, P.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    The goal of this paper is to present an analysis of the seasonality of tundra vegetation variability and change using long-term remotely sensed data as well as ground based measurements and reanalyses. An increase of Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation greenness has been documented using the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Coherent variability between NDVI, springtime coastal sea ice (passive microwave) and land surface temperatures (AVHRR) has also been established. Satellite based snow and cloud cover data sets are being incorporated into this analysis. The Arctic tundra is divided into domains based on Treshnikov divisions that are modified based on floristic provinces. There is notable heterogeneity in Pan-Arctic vegetation and climate trends, which necessitates a regional analysis. This study uses remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2010. The GIMMS NDVI3g data has been corrected for biases during the spring and fall, with special focus on the Arctic. Trends of Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), and open water area are calculated for the Pan Arctic. Remotely sensed snow data trends suggest varying patterns throughout the Arctic and may in part explain the heterogeneous MaxNDVI trends. Standard climate data (station, reanalysis, and model data) and ground observations are used in the analysis to provide additional support for hypothesized mechanisms. Overall, we find that trends over the 30-year record are changing as evidenced by the following examples from recent years. The sea ice decline has increased in Eurasia and slowed in North America. The weekly AVHRR landsurface temperatures reveal that there has been summer cooling over Eurasia and that the warming over North America has slowed. The MaxNDVI rates of change have diverged between N. America and Eurasia

  19. Exchange of CO2 in Arctic tundra: impacts of meteorological variations and biological disturbance

    López-Blanco, Efrén; Lund, Magnus; Williams, Mathew; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Exbrayat, Jean-François; Hansen, Birger U.; Christensen, Torben R.

    2017-10-01

    An improvement in our process-based understanding of carbon (C) exchange in the Arctic and its climate sensitivity is critically needed for understanding the response of tundra ecosystems to a changing climate. In this context, we analysed the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in West Greenland tundra (64° N) across eight snow-free periods in 8 consecutive years, and characterized the key processes of net ecosystem exchange and its two main modulating components: gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco). Overall, the ecosystem acted as a consistent sink of CO2, accumulating -30 g C m-2 on average (range of -17 to -41 g C m-2) during the years 2008-2015, except 2011 (source of 41 g C m-2), which was associated with a major pest outbreak. The results do not reveal a marked meteorological effect on the net CO2 uptake despite the high interannual variability in the timing of snowmelt and the start and duration of the growing season. The ranges in annual GPP (-182 to -316 g C m-2) and Reco (144 to 279 g C m-2) were > 5 fold larger than the range in NEE. Gross fluxes were also more variable (coefficients of variation are 3.6 and 4.1 % respectively) than for NEE (0.7 %). GPP and Reco were sensitive to insolation and temperature, and there was a tendency towards larger GPP and Reco during warmer and wetter years. The relative lack of sensitivity of NEE to meteorology was a result of the correlated response of GPP and Reco. During the snow-free season of the anomalous year of 2011, a biological disturbance related to a larvae outbreak reduced GPP more strongly than Reco. With continued warming temperatures and longer growing seasons, tundra systems will increase rates of C cycling. However, shifts in sink strength will likely be triggered by factors such as biological disturbances, events that will challenge our forecasting of C states.

  20. CO2 dynamics of tundra ponds in the low-Arctic, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Buell, Mary-Claire

    Extensive research has gone into measuring changes to the carbon storage capacity of Arctic terrestrial environments as well as large water bodies in order to determine a carbon budget for many regions across the Arctic. Inland Arctic waters such as small lakes and ponds are often excluded from these carbon budgets, however a handful of studies have demonstrated that they can often be significant sources of carbon to the atmosphere. This study investigated the CO2 cycling of tundra ponds in the Daring Lake area, Northwest Territories, Canada (64°52'N, 111°35'W), to determine the role ponds have in the local carbon cycle. Floating chambers, nondispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors and headspace samples were used to estimate carbon fluxes from four selected local ponds. Multiple environmental, chemical and meteorological parameters were also monitored for the duration of the study, which took place during the snow free season of 2013. Average CO2 emissions for the two-month growing season ranged from approximately -0.0035 g CO2-C m-2 d -1 to 0.12 g CO2-C m-2 d-1. The losses of CO2 from the water bodies in the Daring Lake area were approximately 2-7% of the CO2 uptake over vegetated terrestrial tundra during the same two-month period. Results from this study indicated that the production of CO2 in tundra ponds was positively influenced by both increases in air temperature, and the delivery of carbon from their catchments. The relationship found between temperature and carbon emissions suggests that warming Arctic temperatures have the potential to increase carbon emissions from ponds in the future. The findings in this study did not include ebullition gas emissions nor plant mediated transport, therefore these findings are likely underestimates of the total carbon emissions from water bodies in the Daring Lake area. This study emphasizes the need for more research on inland waters in order to improve our understanding of the total impact these waters may have on the

  1. Thaw pond dynamics and carbon emissions in a Siberian lowland tundra landscape

    van Huissteden, Ko; Heijmans, Monique; Dean, Josh; Meisel, Ove; Goovaerts, Arne; Parmentier, Frans-Jan; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Belelli Marchesini, Luca; Kononov, Alexander; Maximov, Trofim; Borges, Alberto; Bouillon, Steven

    2017-04-01

    Arctic climate change induces drastic changes in permafrost surface wetness. As a result of thawing ground ice bodies, ice wedge troughs and thaw ponds are formed. Alternatively, ongoing thaw may enhance drainage as a result of increased interconnectedness of thawing ice wedge troughs, as inferred from a model study (Liljedahl et al., 2016, Nature Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2674). However, a recent review highlighted the limited predictability of consequences of thawing permafrost on hydrology (Walvoord and Kurylyk, 2016, Vadose Zone J., DOI:10.2136/vzj2016.01.0010). Overall, these changes in tundra wetness modify carbon cycling in the Arctic and in particular the emissions of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, providing a possibly positive feedback on climate change. Here we present the results of a combined remote sensing, geomorphological, vegetation and biogechemical study of thaw ponds in Arctic Siberian tundra, at Kytalyk research station near Chokurdakh, Indigirka lowlands. The station is located in an area dominated by Pleistocene ice-rich 'yedoma' sediments and drained thaw lake bottoms of Holocene age. The development of three types of ponds in the Kytalyk area (polygon centre ponds, ice wedge troughs and thaw ponds) has been traced with high resolution satellite and aerial imagery. The remote sensing data show net areal expansion of all types of ponds. Next to formation of new ponds, local vegetation change from dry vegetation types to wet, sedge-dominated vegetation is common. Thawing ice wedges and thaw ponds show an increase in area and number at most studied locations. In particular the area of polygon centre ponds increased strongly between 2010 and 2015, but this is highly sensitive to antecedent precipitation conditions. Despite a nearly 60% increase of the area of thawing ice wedge troughs, there is no evidence of decreasing water surfaces by increasing drainage through connected ice wedge troughs. The number of thaw ponds shows an equilibrium

  2. Uptake of pulse injected nitrogen by soil microbes and mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants in a species-diverse subarctic heath ecosystem

    Andresen, Louise Christoffersen; Jonasson, Sven; Strom, Lena

    2008-01-01

    15N labeled ammonium, glycine or glutamic acid was injected into subarctic heath soil in situ, with the purpose of investigating how the nitrogen added in these pulses was subsequently utilized and cycled in the ecosystem. We analyzed the acquisition of 15N label in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhiza......15N labeled ammonium, glycine or glutamic acid was injected into subarctic heath soil in situ, with the purpose of investigating how the nitrogen added in these pulses was subsequently utilized and cycled in the ecosystem. We analyzed the acquisition of 15N label in mycorrhizal and non...

  3. CAR LEADEX Level 1C Artic Sea Ice and Tundra Radiation Measurements (CAR_LEADEX_L1C) at GES DISC

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — CAR LEADEX mission measured bidirectional reflectance functions for four common arctic surfaces: snow covered sea ice, melt season sea ice, snow covered tundra, and...

  4. Development and application of sedimentary pigments for assessing effects of climatic and environmental changes on subarctic lakes in northern Sweden

    Reuss, Nina Steenberg; Leavitt, Peter R.; Hall, Roland I.

    2010-01-01

    to the modern tree line. The spatial survey of sedimentary pigments was analyzed using principle components analysis (PCA) and redundancy analysis (RDA). PCA explained 73-83% of variance in pigment abundance and composition, whereas RDA explained 22-32% of variation in fossil assemblages. Dissolved organic...... transitions in the phototrophic community during the late Holocene were less easily interpreted. Terrestrial vegetation development thus appears to be of utmost importance for the regulation of primary production in oligotrophic alpine and subarctic lakes and climate impacts on lakes, whereas other basin...

  5. Wetland development, permafrost history and nutrient cycling inferred from late Holocene peat and lake sediment records in subarctic Sweden

    Kokfelt, U.; Reuss, N.; Struyf, E.

    2010-01-01

    to re-deposition of peat into one of the lakes after ca. 2,100 cal BP, and stimulated primary productivity in the other lake at ca. 1,900-1,800 cal BP. Carbonate precipitation appears to have been suppressed when acidic poor fen and bog (palsa) communities dominated the catchment mire, and permafrost...... insight into nutrient and permafrost dynamics in a subarctic wetland and imply that continued permafrost decay and related vegetation changes towards minerotrophy may increase carbon and nutrient storage of mire deposits and reduce nutrient fluxes in runoff. Rapid permafrost degradation may on the other...

  6. Distributions and seasonal abundances of krill eggs and larvae in the sub-Arctic Godthåbsfjord, SW Greenland

    Teglhus, Frederik Wolff; Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Akther, Hasna

    2015-01-01

    The larval krill community (Thysanoessa spp.) was investigated along the sub-Arctic Godthåbsfjord, SW Greenland, in June 2010. In addition, the progress of krill development from egg to furcilia was studied from March to August 2010 in a fjord branching off the Godthåbsfjord. Krill spawned from...... and furcilia stages lasted 22 and 63 d, respectively. The growth rate from metanauplius to calyptopis was 0.12 d−1, while the growth rate across all developmental stages was 0.05 d−1. Mortality rates were calculated as 25% from eggs to nauplii, 48% from eggs to calyptopes and 83% from eggs to furcilia. During...

  7. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in Arctic tundra soil

    Herndon, Elizabeth; AlBashaireh, Amineh; Singer, David; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Gu, Baohua; Graham, David

    2017-06-01

    Arctic tundra stores large quantities of soil organic matter under varying redox conditions. As the climate warms, these carbon reservoirs are susceptible to increased rates of decomposition and release to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Geochemical interactions between soil organic matter and minerals influence decomposition in many environments but remain poorly understood in Arctic tundra systems and are not considered in decomposition models. The accumulation of iron (Fe) oxyhydroxides and organo-iron precipitates at redox interfaces may be particularly important for carbon cycling given that ferric iron [Fe(III)] species can enhance decomposition by serving as terminal electron acceptors in anoxic soils or inhibit microbial decomposition by binding organic molecules. Here, we examine chemical properties of solid-phase Fe and organic matter in organic and mineral horizons within the seasonally thawed active layer of Arctic tundra on the North Slope of Alaska. Spectroscopic techniques, including micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) mapping, micro-X-ray absorption near-edge structure (μXANES) spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), were coupled with chemical sequential extractions and physical density fractionations to evaluate the spatial distribution and speciation of Fe-bearing phases and associated organic matter in soils. Organic horizons were enriched in poorly crystalline and crystalline iron oxides, and approximately 60% of total Fe stored in organic horizons was calculated to derive from upward translocation from anoxic mineral horizons. Ferrihydrite and goethite were present as coatings on mineral grains and plant debris, and in aggregates with clays and particulate organic matter. Minor amounts of ferrous iron [Fe(II)] were present in iron sulfides (i.e., pyrite and greigite) in mineral horizon soils and iron phosphates (vivianite) in organic horizons. Concentrations of organic

  8. Year-round Regional CO2 Fluxes from Boreal and Tundra Ecosystems in Alaska

    Commane, R.; Lindaas, J.; Benmergui, J. S.; Luus, K. A.; Chang, R. Y. W.; Daube, B. C.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Henderson, J.; Karion, A.; Miller, J. B.; Miller, S. M.; Parazoo, N.; Randerson, J. T.; Sweeney, C.; Tans, P. P.; Thoning, K. W.; Veraverbeke, S.; Miller, C. E.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2016-12-01

    High-latitude ecosystems could release large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere in a warmer climate. We derive temporally and spatially resolved year-round CO2 fluxes in Alaska from a synthesis of airborne and tower CO2 observations in 2012-2014. We find that tundra ecosystems were net sources of atmospheric CO2. We discuss these flux estimates in the context of long-term CO2 measurements at Barrow, AK, to asses the long term trend in carbon fluxes in the Arctic. Many Earth System Models incorrectly simulate net carbon uptake in Alaska presently. Our results imply that annual net emission of CO2 to the atmosphere may have increased markedly in this region of the Arctic in response to warming climate, supporting the view that climate-carbon feedback is strongly positive in the high Arctic.

  9. [Wood transformation in dead-standing trees in the forest-tundra of Central Siberia].

    Mukhortova, L V; Kirdianov, A V; Myglan, V S; Guggenberger, G

    2009-01-01

    Changes in the composition of wood organic matter in dead-standing spruce and larch trees depending on the period after their death have been studied in the north of Central Siberia. The period after tree death has been estimated by means of cross-dating. The results show that changes in the composition of wood organic matter in 63% of cases are contingent on tree species. Wood decomposition in dead-standing trees is accompanied by an increase in the contents of alkali-soluble organic compounds. Lignin oxidation in larch begins approximately 80 years after tree death, whereas its transformation in spruce begins not earlier than after 100 years. In the forest-tundra of Central Siberia, the rate of wood organic matter transformation in dead-standing trees is one to two orders of magnitude lower than in fallen wood, which accounts for their role as a long-term store of carbon and mineral elements in these ecosystems.

  10. Object-Based Mapping of the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Ecotone with MODIS Tree Cover

    Ranson, K. J.; Montesano, P. M.; Nelson, R.

    2011-01-01

    The circumpolar taiga tundra ecotone was delineated using an image-segmentation-based mapping approach with multi-annual MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover data. Circumpolar tree canopy cover (TCC) throughout the ecotone was derived by averaging MODIS VCF data from 2000 to 2005 and adjusting the averaged values using linear equations relating MODIS TCC to Quickbird-derived tree cover estimates. The adjustment helped mitigate VCF's overestimation of tree cover in lightly forested regions. An image segmentation procedure was used to group pixels representing similar tree cover into polygonal features (segmentation objects) that form the map of the transition zone. Each polygon represents an area much larger than the 500 m MODIS pixel and characterizes the patterns of sparse forest patches on a regional scale. Those polygons near the boreal/tundra interface with either (1) mean adjusted TCC values from5 to 20%, or (2) mean adjusted TCC values greater than 5% but with a standard deviation less than 5% were used to identify the ecotone. Comparisons of the adjusted average tree cover data were made with (1) two existing tree line definitions aggregated for each 1 degree longitudinal interval in North America and Eurasia, (2) Landsat-derived Canadian proportion of forest cover for Canada, and (3) with canopy cover estimates extracted from airborne profiling lidar data that transected 1238 of the TCC polygons. The adjusted TCC from MODIS VCF shows, on average, less than 12% TCC for all but one regional zone at the intersection with independently delineated tree lines. Adjusted values track closely with Canadian proportion of forest cover data in areas of low tree cover. A comparison of the 1238 TCC polygons with profiling lidar measurements yielded an overall accuracy of 67.7%.

  11. Nitrogen availability increases in a tundra ecosystem during five years of experimental permafrost thaw.

    Salmon, Verity G; Soucy, Patrick; Mauritz, Marguerite; Celis, Gerardo; Natali, Susan M; Mack, Michelle C; Schuur, Edward A G

    2016-05-01

    Perennially frozen soil in high latitude ecosystems (permafrost) currently stores 1330-1580 Pg of carbon (C). As these ecosystems warm, the thaw and decomposition of permafrost is expected to release large amounts of C to the atmosphere. Fortunately, losses from the permafrost C pool will be partially offset by increased plant productivity. The degree to which plants are able to sequester C, however, will be determined by changing nitrogen (N) availability in these thawing soil profiles. N availability currently limits plant productivity in tundra ecosystems but plant access to N is expected improve as decomposition increases in speed and extends to deeper soil horizons. To evaluate the relationship between permafrost thaw and N availability, we monitored N cycling during 5 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw at the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project. Inorganic N availability increased significantly in response to deeper thaw and greater soil moisture induced by Soil warming. This treatment also prompted a 23% increase in aboveground biomass and a 49% increase in foliar N pools. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum responded most strongly to warming: this species explained 91% of the change in aboveground biomass during the 5 year period. Air warming had little impact when applied alone, but when applied in combination with Soil warming, growing season soil inorganic N availability was significantly reduced. These results demonstrate that there is a strong positive relationship between the depth of permafrost thaw and N availability in tundra ecosystems but that this relationship can be diminished by interactions between increased thaw, warmer air temperatures, and higher levels of soil moisture. Within 5 years of permafrost thaw, plants actively incorporate newly available N into biomass but C storage in live vascular plant biomass is unlikely to be greater than losses from deep soil C pools. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Implications of a lightning-rich tundra biome for permafrost carbon and vegetation dynamics

    Chen, Y.; Veraverbeke, S.; Randerson, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    Lightning is a major ignition source of wildfires in circumpolar boreal forests but rarely occurs in arctic tundra. While theoretical and empirical work suggests that climate change will increase lightning strikes in temperate regions, much less is known about future changes in lightning across terrestrial ecosystems at high northern latitudes. Here we analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns of lightning flash rate (FR) from the satellite observations and surface detection networks. Regression models between the observed FR from the Optical Transient Detector on the MicroLab-1 satellite (later renamed OV-1) and meteorological parameters, including surface temperature (T), convective available potential energy (CAPE), and convective precipitation (CP) from ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) ERA-interim reanalysis, were established and assessed. We found that FR had significant linear correlations with CAPE and CP, and a strong non-linear relationship with T. The statistical model based on T and CP can reproduce most of the spatial and temporal variability in FR in the circumpolar region. By using the regression model and meteorological predictions from 24 earth system models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), we estimated the spatial distribution of FR by the end of the 21st century. Due to increases in surface temperature and convection, modeled FR shows substantial increase in northern biomes, including a 338% change in arctic tundra and a 185% change in regions with permafrost soil carbon reservoirs. These changes highlight a new mechanism by which permafrost carbon is vulnerable to the sustained impacts of climate warming. Increased fire in a warmer and lightning-rich future near the treeline has the potential to accelerate the northward migration of trees, which may further enhance warming and the abundance of lightning strikes.

  13. Age-specific survival of tundra swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula

    Meixell, Brandt W.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Conn, Paul B.; Dau, Christian P.; Sarvis, John E.; Sowl, Kristine M.

    2013-01-01

    The population of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) breeding on the lower Alaska Peninsula represents the southern extremity of the species' range and is uniquely nonmigratory. We used data on recaptures, resightings, and recoveries of neck-collared Tundra Swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula to estimate collar loss, annual apparent survival, and other demographic parameters for the years 1978–1989. Annual collar loss was greater for adult males fitted with either the thinner collar type (0.34) or the thicker collar type (0.15) than for other age/sex classes (thinner: 0.10, thicker: 0.04). The apparent mean probability of survival of adults (0.61) was higher than that of immatures (0.41) and for both age classes varied considerably by year (adult range: 0.44–0.95, immature range: 0.25–0.90). To assess effects of permanent emigration by age and breeding class, we analyzed post hoc the encounter histories of swans known to breed in our study area. The apparent mean survival of known breeders (0.65) was generally higher than that of the entire marked sample but still varied considerably by year (range 0.26–1.00) and indicated that permanent emigration of breeding swans was likely. We suggest that reductions in apparent survival probability were influenced primarily by high and variable rates of permanent emigration and that immigration by swans from elsewhere may be important in sustaining a breeding population at and near Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

  14. Circumpolar arctic tundra biomass and productivity dynamics in response to projected climate change and herbivory.

    Yu, Qin; Epstein, Howard; Engstrom, Ryan; Walker, Donald

    2017-09-01

    Satellite remote sensing data have indicated a general 'greening' trend in the arctic tundra biome. However, the observed changes based on remote sensing are the result of multiple environmental drivers, and the effects of individual controls such as warming, herbivory, and other disturbances on changes in vegetation biomass, community structure, and ecosystem function remain unclear. We apply ArcVeg, an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model, to estimate potential changes in vegetation biomass and net primary production (NPP) at the plant community and functional type levels. ArcVeg is driven by soil nitrogen output from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, existing densities of Rangifer populations, and projected summer temperature changes by the NCAR CCSM4.0 general circulation model across the Arctic. We quantified the changes in aboveground biomass and NPP resulting from (i) observed herbivory only; (ii) projected climate change only; and (iii) coupled effects of projected climate change and herbivory. We evaluated model outputs of the absolute and relative differences in biomass and NPP by country, bioclimate subzone, and floristic province. Estimated potential biomass increases resulting from temperature increase only are approximately 5% greater than the biomass modeled due to coupled warming and herbivory. Such potential increases are greater in areas currently occupied by large or dense Rangifer herds such as the Nenets-occupied regions in Russia (27% greater vegetation increase without herbivores). In addition, herbivory modulates shifts in plant community structure caused by warming. Plant functional types such as shrubs and mosses were affected to a greater degree than other functional types by either warming or herbivory or coupled effects of the two. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Snow depth manipulation experiments in a dry and a moist tundra

    Kwon, M. J.; Czimczik, C. I.; Jung, J. Y.; Kim, M.; Lee, Y. K.; Nam, S.; Wagner, I.

    2017-12-01

    As a result of global warming, precipitation in the Arctic is expected to increase by 25-50% by the end of this century, mostly in the form of snow. However, precipitation patterns vary considerable in space and time, and future precipitation patterns are highly uncertain at local and regional scales. The amount of snowfall (or snow depth) influences a number of ecosystem properties in Arctic ecosystems, such as soil temperature over winter and soil moisture in the following growing season. These modifications then affect rates of carbon-related soil processes and photosynthesis, thus CO2 exchange rates between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. In this study, we investigate the effects of snow depth on the magnitude, sources and temporal dynamics of CO2 fluxes. We installed snow fences in a dry dwarf-shrub (Cambridge Bay, Canada; 69° N, 105° W) and a moist low-shrub (Council, Alaska, USA; 64° N, 165° W) tundra in summer 2017, and established control, and increased and reduced snow depth plots at each snow fence. Summertime CO2 flux rates (net ecosystem exchange, ecosystem respiration, gross primary production) and the fractions of autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration to ecosystem respiration were measured using manual chambers and radiocarbon signatures. Wintertime CO2 flux rates will be measured using soda lime adsorption technique and forced diffusion chambers. Soil temperature and moisture at multiple depths, as well as changes in soil properties and microbial communities will be also observed, to research whether these changes affect CO2 flux rates or patterns. Our study will elucidate how future snow depth and its impact on soil physical and biogeochemical properties influence the magnitude and sources of tundra-atmosphere CO2 exchange in the rapidly warming Arctic.

  16. Macrozoobenthos in the subarctic river Tenojoki as an environmental indicator. Tenojoen pohjaelaeimistoe ympaeristoen laadun kuvaajana

    Lax, H.G.; Koskenniemi, E.; Sevola, P.; Bagge, P.

    1993-01-01

    The macrozoobenthos of the subarctic river Tenojoki and some of its tributaries was studied in June and September 1989 as a part of the environmental monitoring programme. The river (F = 16 386 km[sup 2], length 300 km, L = 2.4 %, Q varies between 30-400 m[sup 3]/s) is situated on the Finnish-Norwegian border and is characterized by sand bottoms interrupted by shorter reaches of gravel and stone bottoms. The water is usually clear (colour < 40 mg Pt/l) and oligotrophic (tot-P < 10 [mu]g/l). The bottom fauna was sampled from 9 stations in the main river and from one station in each of the 5 major tributaries. The sampling methods used were: kick-sampling and imago hand netting from all stations, colonization substrates (stone baskets and bricks) at 9 stations in the main river. The tax a number of the kick-samples varied from 10-15/station in spring (totally 51 taxa) and from 15-25/station in autumn (totally 69 taxa). In spring the river margin (depth 0-25 cm) seemed to be an important habitat for many species especially in the upper parts of the river. In autumn most of the species occurred on deeper bottoms (depth 50-100 cm). The most common feeding types in spring were the collectors (Amaletus inopinatus, Chironomidae) and in autumn the scrapers (Elmidae, Baetidae, Hydroptllidae) and collectors (Chironomidae). The pollution index (LongScoreSystem) indicated that the conditions in the lower part of the main river was more stressing for the bottom fauna than in the upper part. But up to now it seems as if the organic pollution from settlements have had only positive effects on the benthic community

  17. pH gradients in the diffusive boundary layer of subarctic macrophytes

    Hendriks, Iris E.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Marbà , Nú ria; Krause-Jensen, Dorte

    2017-01-01

    Highly productive macrophytes produce diurnal and seasonal cycles in CO concentrations modulated by metabolic activity, which cause discrepancies between pH in the bulk water and near seaweed blades, especially when entering the diffusion boundary layer (DBL). Calcifying epiphytic organisms living in this environment are therefore exposed to a different pH environment than that of the water column. To evaluate the actual pH environment on blade surfaces, we measured the thickness of the DBL and pH gradients within it for six subarctic macrophytes: Fucus vesiculosus, Ascophyllum nodosum, Ulva lactuca, Zostera marina, Saccharina longicruris, and Agarum clathratum. We measured pH under laboratory conditions at ambient temperatures (2–3 °C) and slow, stable flow over the blade surface at five light intensities (dark, 30, 50, 100 and 200 µmol photons m s). Boundary layer thickness ranged between 511 and 1632 µm, while the maximum difference in pH (∆pH) between the blade surface and the water column ranged between 0.4 ± 0.14 (average ± SE; Zostera) and 1.2 ± 0.13 (average ± SE; Ulva) pH units. These differences in pH are larger than predictions for pH changes in the bulk water by the end of the century. A simple quadratic model best described the relationship between light intensity and maximum ∆pH, pointing at relatively low optimum PAR of between 28 and 139 µmol photons m s to reach maximum ∆pH. Elevated pH at the blade surface may provide chemical “refugia” for calcifying epiphytic organisms, especially during summer at higher latitudes where photoperiods are long.

  18. Metagenomic Insights Into the Microbial Community and Nutrient Cycling in the Western Subarctic Pacific Ocean

    Yingdong Li

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The composition and metabolic functions of prokaryotic communities in the western subarctic Pacific (WSP, where strong mixing of waters from the Sea of Okhotsk and the East Kamchatka Current result in transfer to the Oyashio Current, were investigated using a shotgun metagenome sequencing approach. Functional metabolic genes related to nutrient cycling of nitrogen, sulfur, carbohydrates, iron and amino acids were differently distributed between the surface and deep waters of the WSP. Genes related to nitrogen metabolism were mainly found in deep waters, where Thaumarchaeaota, Sphingomonadales, and Pseudomonadales were closely associated and performing important roles in ammonia oxidation, assimilatory nitrate reduction, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction processes, respectively. In addition, orders affiliated to Spingobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria were crucial for sulfate reduction and abundant at 3000 m, whereas orders affiliated to Gammaproteobacteria, which harbored the most sulfate reduction genes, were abundant at 1000 m. Additionally, when compared with the East Kamchatka Current, the prokaryotes in the Oyashio Current were likely to consume more energy for synthesizing cellular components. Also, genes encoding iron transport and siderophore biosynthesis proteins were in low abundance, indicating that the iron was not a limiting factor in the Oyashio current. In contrast, in the East Kamchatka Current, prokaryotes were more likely to directly utilize the amino acids and absorb iron from the environment. Overall, our data indicated that the transformation from the East Kamchatka Current to the Oyashio Current reshapes not only the composition of microbial community, but also the function of the metabolic processes. These results extended our knowledge of the microbial composition and potential metabolism in the WSP.

  19. Metagenomic Insights Into the Microbial Community and Nutrient Cycling in the Western Subarctic Pacific Ocean.

    Li, Yingdong; Jing, Hongmei; Xia, Xiaomin; Cheung, Shunyan; Suzuki, Koji; Liu, Hongbin

    2018-01-01

    The composition and metabolic functions of prokaryotic communities in the western subarctic Pacific (WSP), where strong mixing of waters from the Sea of Okhotsk and the East Kamchatka Current result in transfer to the Oyashio Current, were investigated using a shotgun metagenome sequencing approach. Functional metabolic genes related to nutrient cycling of nitrogen, sulfur, carbohydrates, iron and amino acids were differently distributed between the surface and deep waters of the WSP. Genes related to nitrogen metabolism were mainly found in deep waters, where Thaumarchaeaota, Sphingomonadales , and Pseudomonadales were closely associated and performing important roles in ammonia oxidation, assimilatory nitrate reduction, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction processes, respectively. In addition, orders affiliated to Spingobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria were crucial for sulfate reduction and abundant at 3000 m, whereas orders affiliated to Gammaproteobacteria , which harbored the most sulfate reduction genes, were abundant at 1000 m. Additionally, when compared with the East Kamchatka Current, the prokaryotes in the Oyashio Current were likely to consume more energy for synthesizing cellular components. Also, genes encoding iron transport and siderophore biosynthesis proteins were in low abundance, indicating that the iron was not a limiting factor in the Oyashio current. In contrast, in the East Kamchatka Current, prokaryotes were more likely to directly utilize the amino acids and absorb iron from the environment. Overall, our data indicated that the transformation from the East Kamchatka Current to the Oyashio Current reshapes not only the composition of microbial community, but also the function of the metabolic processes. These results extended our knowledge of the microbial composition and potential metabolism in the WSP.

  20. Observing Trace Gases Of The Arctic And Subarctic Stratosphere By TELIS

    Xu, Jian; Schreier, Franz; Doicu, Adrian; Vogt, Peter; Birk, Manfred; Wagner, Georg; Trautmann, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    The Terahertz and submillimeter Limb Sounder (TELIS) is a balloon-borne cryogenic heterodyne spectrometer developed by a consortium of European institutes, which was mounted together with the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding - Balloon (MIPAS- B) and the mini- Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (mini-DOAS) instruments on a stratospheric gondola. The TELIS instrument is designed to monitor the vertical distribution of stratospheric state parameters associated with ozone destruction and climate change in Arctic and subarctic areas. The broad spectral coverage of TELIS is achieved by utilizing three frequency channels: a tunable 1.8THz channel based on a solid state local oscillator and a hot electron bolometer as mixer, a 480-650GHz channel with the Superconducting Integrated Receiver (SIR) technology, and a highly compact 500 GHz channel developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), and the Rutherford Apple- ton Laboratory (RAL), respectively. Furthermore, an ex- tended spectral range is observed by the combination of TELIS and MIPAS-B, which can be employed for cross validation of several gas concentrations. Between 2009 and 2011 three successful scientific flights have been launched in Kiruna, Sweden and all relevant atmospheric gas species were seen by TELIS over an altitude range of 10-32.5 km. For estimation of concentration profiles from TELIS measurements, a constrained nonlinear least squares fitting framework along with var- ious Tikhonov-type regularization methods has been developed. In this work we present recent retrieval results from latest calibrated spectra during the 2010 flight. Emphasis is placed on ozone (O3) and hydrogen chloride (HCl), and error issues pertaining to the main instrumental uncertainty terms including nonlinearity in the calibration procedure, sideband ratio and pointing offset are investigated. The retrieved profiles are validated against

  1. Reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion in the subarctic environment of Iceland

    Lilja Jóhannesdóttir

    2017-03-01

    before further substantial changes in the extent of agriculture take place in this subarctic landscape.

  2. Diversity and population structure of Marine Group A bacteria in the Northeast subarctic Pacific Ocean.

    Allers, Elke; Wright, Jody J; Konwar, Kishori M; Howes, Charles G; Beneze, Erica; Hallam, Steven J; Sullivan, Matthew B

    2013-02-01

    Marine Group A (MGA) is a candidate phylum of Bacteria that is ubiquitous and abundant in the ocean. Despite being prevalent, the structural and functional properties of MGA populations remain poorly constrained. Here, we quantified MGA diversity and population structure in relation to nutrients and O(2) concentrations in the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) of the Northeast subarctic Pacific Ocean using a combination of catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) and 16S small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene sequencing (clone libraries and 454-pyrotags). Estimates of MGA abundance as a proportion of total bacteria were similar across all three methods although estimates based on CARD-FISH were consistently lower in the OMZ (5.6%±1.9%) than estimates based on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries (11.0%±3.9%) or pyrotags (9.9%±1.8%). Five previously defined MGA subgroups were recovered in 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and five novel subgroups were defined (HF770D10, P262000D03, P41300E03, P262000N21 and A714018). Rarefaction analysis of pyrotag data indicated that the ultimate richness of MGA was very nearly sampled. Spearman's rank analysis of MGA abundances by CARD-FISH and O(2) concentrations resulted in significant correlation. Analyzed in more detail by 16S rRNA pyrotag sequencing, MGA operational taxonomic units affiliated with subgroups Arctic95A-2 and A714018 comprised 0.3-2.4% of total bacterial sequences and displayed strong correlations with decreasing O(2) concentration. This study is the first comprehensive description of MGA diversity using complementary techniques. These results provide a phylogenetic framework for interpreting future studies on ecotype selection among MGA subgroups, and suggest a potentially important role for MGA in the ecology and biogeochemistry of OMZs.

  3. Ozone variability and halogen oxidation within the Arctic and sub-Arctic springtime boundary layer

    J. B. Gilman

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The influence of halogen oxidation on the variabilities of ozone (O3 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs within the Arctic and sub-Arctic atmospheric boundary layer was investigated using field measurements from multiple campaigns conducted in March and April 2008 as part of the POLARCAT project. For the ship-based measurements, a high degree of correlation (r = 0.98 for 544 data points collected north of 68° N was observed between the acetylene to benzene ratio, used as a marker for chlorine and bromine oxidation, and O3 signifying the vast influence of halogen oxidation throughout the ice-free regions of the North Atlantic. Concurrent airborne and ground-based measurements in the Alaskan Arctic substantiated this correlation and were used to demonstrate that halogen oxidation influenced O3 variability throughout the Arctic boundary layer during these springtime studies. Measurements aboard the R/V Knorr in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans provided a unique view of the transport of O3-poor air masses from the Arctic Basin to latitudes as far south as 52° N. FLEXPART, a Lagrangian transport model, was used to quantitatively determine the exposure of air masses encountered by the ship to first-year ice (FYI, multi-year ice (MYI, and total ICE (FYI+MYI. O3 anti-correlated with the modeled total ICE tracer (r = −0.86 indicating that up to 73% of the O3 variability measured in the Arctic marine boundary layer could be related to sea ice exposure.

  4. Metagenomic Insights Into the Microbial Community and Nutrient Cycling in the Western Subarctic Pacific Ocean

    Li, Yingdong; Jing, Hongmei; Xia, Xiaomin; Cheung, Shunyan; Suzuki, Koji; Liu, Hongbin

    2018-01-01

    The composition and metabolic functions of prokaryotic communities in the western subarctic Pacific (WSP), where strong mixing of waters from the Sea of Okhotsk and the East Kamchatka Current result in transfer to the Oyashio Current, were investigated using a shotgun metagenome sequencing approach. Functional metabolic genes related to nutrient cycling of nitrogen, sulfur, carbohydrates, iron and amino acids were differently distributed between the surface and deep waters of the WSP. Genes related to nitrogen metabolism were mainly found in deep waters, where Thaumarchaeaota, Sphingomonadales, and Pseudomonadales were closely associated and performing important roles in ammonia oxidation, assimilatory nitrate reduction, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction processes, respectively. In addition, orders affiliated to Spingobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria were crucial for sulfate reduction and abundant at 3000 m, whereas orders affiliated to Gammaproteobacteria, which harbored the most sulfate reduction genes, were abundant at 1000 m. Additionally, when compared with the East Kamchatka Current, the prokaryotes in the Oyashio Current were likely to consume more energy for synthesizing cellular components. Also, genes encoding iron transport and siderophore biosynthesis proteins were in low abundance, indicating that the iron was not a limiting factor in the Oyashio current. In contrast, in the East Kamchatka Current, prokaryotes were more likely to directly utilize the amino acids and absorb iron from the environment. Overall, our data indicated that the transformation from the East Kamchatka Current to the Oyashio Current reshapes not only the composition of microbial community, but also the function of the metabolic processes. These results extended our knowledge of the microbial composition and potential metabolism in the WSP. PMID:29670596

  5. pH gradients in the diffusive boundary layer of subarctic macrophytes

    Hendriks, Iris E.

    2017-06-20

    Highly productive macrophytes produce diurnal and seasonal cycles in CO concentrations modulated by metabolic activity, which cause discrepancies between pH in the bulk water and near seaweed blades, especially when entering the diffusion boundary layer (DBL). Calcifying epiphytic organisms living in this environment are therefore exposed to a different pH environment than that of the water column. To evaluate the actual pH environment on blade surfaces, we measured the thickness of the DBL and pH gradients within it for six subarctic macrophytes: Fucus vesiculosus, Ascophyllum nodosum, Ulva lactuca, Zostera marina, Saccharina longicruris, and Agarum clathratum. We measured pH under laboratory conditions at ambient temperatures (2–3 °C) and slow, stable flow over the blade surface at five light intensities (dark, 30, 50, 100 and 200 µmol photons m s). Boundary layer thickness ranged between 511 and 1632 µm, while the maximum difference in pH (∆pH) between the blade surface and the water column ranged between 0.4 ± 0.14 (average ± SE; Zostera) and 1.2 ± 0.13 (average ± SE; Ulva) pH units. These differences in pH are larger than predictions for pH changes in the bulk water by the end of the century. A simple quadratic model best described the relationship between light intensity and maximum ∆pH, pointing at relatively low optimum PAR of between 28 and 139 µmol photons m s to reach maximum ∆pH. Elevated pH at the blade surface may provide chemical “refugia” for calcifying epiphytic organisms, especially during summer at higher latitudes where photoperiods are long.

  6. Future stratospheric ozone depletion will affect a subarctic dwarf shrub ecosystem

    Johanson, Ulf

    1997-02-01

    The stratospheric ozone depletion and the concomitant increase in ultraviolet-B (UV-B, 280-320 nm) radiation is of global concern due to the effects of UV-B on living organisms. To investigate the effects of increased levels of UV-B, a field irradiation system was established at a subarctic dwarf shrub heath in Northern Sweden (68 deg N). An ozone depletion of 15% under clear sky conditions was simulated over a naturally growing ecosystem. The response of both individual components and processes was studied to reveal changes in ecosystem structure and function. Species with different life strategies (evergreen or deciduous) responded differently both in magnitude and direction. The evergreen species were more responsive to UV-B regarding shoot growth, which could be due to cumulative effects in long-lived tissues, since the retardation in relative growth increased over time of exposure. Leaves of evergreen species became thicker under enhanced UV-B, while leaves of deciduous species became thinner. Decomposition studies (laboratory and in situ) showed that indirect effects of UV-B, due to changes in leaf tissue chemistry affected microbial activity and slowed down the decomposition rate. More directly, UV-B decreased the abundance of some fungal species and hence the composition of species. However, no altered decomposition rate was found when decomposition progressed under high UV-B even if the microorganisms were fewer. This could be due to the increased direct photo degradation of litter that compensates for lower microbial activity. The decomposition rate is therefore strongly dependent on the interception of UV-B at the litter layer. This research has shown that ecosystem components and processes are affected in a number of ways and that there are indications of changes in species composition in a long-term perspective due to differences in responsiveness between the different species. 128 refs, 7 figs

  7. Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) in sub-Arctic and Arctic marine mammals, 1986–2009

    Rotander, Anna; Bavel, Bert van; Rigét, Frank; Auðunsson, Guðjón Atli; Polder, Anuschka; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Víkingsson, Gísli; Mikkelsen, Bjarni; Dam, Maria

    2012-01-01

    A selection of PCN congeners was analyzed in pooled blubber samples of pilot whale (Globicephala melas), ringed seal (Phoca hispida), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) and Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus), covering a time period of more than 20 years (1986–2009). A large geographical area of the North Atlantic and Arctic areas was covered. PCN congeners 48, 52, 53, 66 and 69 were found in the blubber samples between 0.03 and 5.9 ng/g lw. Also PCBs were analyzed in minke whales and fin whales from Iceland and the total PCN content accounted for 0.2% or less of the total non-planar PCB content. No statistically significant trend in contaminant levels could be established for the studied areas. However, in all species except minke whales caught off Norway the lowest ∑PCN concentrations were found in samples from the latest sampling period. - Highlights: ► PCN concentrations are described in a wide variety of marine mammal species. ► A large geographical area of the North Atlantic and Arctic areas is covered. ► Pooled blubber samples covering a time period of 23 years are evaluated. ► Species- and geographic-dependent PCN congener distribution is seen. ► A decrease in the PCN load is indicated in the studied areas in recent years. - Analysis of PCNs in seven marine mammal species sampled over a 23 year period indicates a decline in the PCN load in sub-Arctic and Arctic areas in recent years.

  8. Microbial biomass dynamics dominate N cycle responses to warming in a sub-arctic peatland

    Weedon, J. T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G. K.; van Bodegom, P. M.

    2012-04-01

    The balance of primary production and decomposition in sub-arctic peatlands may shift with climate change. Nitrogen availability will modulate this shift, but little is known about the drivers of soil nitrogen dynamics in these environments, and how they are influenced by rising soil temperatures. We used a long-term open top chamber warming experiment in Abisko, Sweden, to test for the interactive effects of spring warming, summer warming and winter snow addition on soil organic and inorganic nitrogen fluxes, potential activities of carbon and nitrogen cycle enzymes, and the structure of the soil-borne microbial communities. Summer warming increased the flux of soil organic nitrogen over the growing season, while simultaneously causing a seasonal decrease in microbial biomass, suggesting that N flux is driven by large late-season dieback of microbes. This change in N cycle dynamics was not reflected in any of the measured potential enzyme activities. Moreover, the soil microbial community structure was stable across treatments, suggesting non-specific microbial dieback. To further test whether the observed patterns were driven by direct temperature effects or indirect effects (via microbial biomass dynamics), we conducted follow-up controlled experiments in soil mesocosms. Experimental additions of dead microbial cells had stronger effects on N pool sizes and enzyme activities than either plant litter addition or a 5 °C alteration in incubation temperatures. Peat respiration was positively affected by both substrate addition and higher incubation temperatures, but the temperature-only effect was not sufficient to account for the increases in respiration observed in previous field experiments. We conclude that warming effects on peatland N cycling (and to some extent C cycling) are dominated by indirect effects, acting through alterations to the seasonal flux of microbe-derived organic matter. We propose that climate change models of soil carbon and nitrogen

  9. The role of deep nitrogen and dynamic rooting profiles on vegetation dynamics and productivity in response to permafrost thaw and climate change in Arctic tundra

    Hewitt, R. E.; Helene, G.; Taylor, D. L.; McGuire, A. D.; Mack, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    The release of permafrost-derived nitrogen (N) has the potential to fertilize tundra vegetation, modulating plant competition, stimulating productivity, and offsetting carbon losses from thawing permafrost. Dynamic rooting, mycorrhizal interactions, and coupling of N availability and root N uptake have been identified as gaps in ecosystem models. As a first step towards understanding whether Arctic plants can access deep permafrost-derived N, we characterized rooting profiles and quantified acquisition of 15N tracer applied at the permafrost boundary by moist acidic tundra plants subjected to almost three decades of warming at Toolik Lake, Alaska. In the ambient control plots the vegetation biomass is distributed between five plant functional types (PFTs): sedges, evergreen and deciduous shrubs, mosses and in lower abundance, forbs. The warming treatment has resulted in the increase of deciduous shrub biomass and the loss of sedges, evergreen shrubs, and mosses. We harvested roots by depth increment down to the top of the permafrost. Roots were classified by size class and PFT. The average thaw depth in the warmed plots was 58.3 cm ± 6.4 S.E., close to 18 cm deeper than the average thaw depth in the ambient plots (40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E.). Across treatments the deepest rooting species was Rubus chamaemorus (ambient 40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E., warmed 50.3 cm ± 9.8 S.E.), a non-mycorrhizal forb, followed by Eriophorum vaginatum, a non-mycorrhizal sedge. Ectomycorrhizal deciduous and ericoid mycorrhizal evergreen shrubs were rooted at more shallow depths. Deeply rooted non-mycorrhizal species had the greatest uptake of 15N tracer within 24 hours across treatments. Tracer uptake was greatest for roots of E. vaginatum in ambient plots and R. chamaemorus in warmed plots. Root profiles were integrated into a process-based ecosystem model coupled with a dynamic vegetation model. Functions modeling dynamic rooting profile relative to thaw depth were implemented for each PFT. The

  10. The Arctic-Subarctic Sea Ice System is Entering a Seasonal Regime: Implications for Future Arctic Amplication

    Haine, T. W. N.; Martin, T.

    2017-12-01

    The loss of Arctic sea ice is a conspicuous example of climate change. Climate models project ice-free conditions during summer this century under realistic emission scenarios, reflecting the increase in seasonality in ice cover. To quantify the increased seasonality in the Arctic-Subarctic sea ice system, we define a non-dimensional seasonality number for sea ice extent, area, and volume from satellite data and realistic coupled climate models. We show that the Arctic-Subarctic, i.e. the northern hemisphere, sea ice now exhibits similar levels of seasonality to the Antarctic, which is in a seasonal regime without significant change since satellite observations began in 1979. Realistic climate models suggest that this transition to the seasonal regime is being accompanied by a maximum in Arctic amplification, which is the faster warming of Arctic latitudes compared to the global mean, in the 2010s. The strong link points to a peak in sea-ice-related feedbacks that occurs long before the Arctic becomes ice-free in summer.

  11. Effects of a controlled under-ice oil spill on invertebrates of an arctic and a subarctic stream

    Miller, M.C.; Stout, J.R.; Alexander, V.

    1986-01-01

    The short-term drift of macroinvertebrates is documented following two controlled oil spills placed under ice in an arctic (Imnavait Creek) and subarctic (Poker-Caribou Creek) stream just as ice covered the water in early winter. No mortality was observed, but several species responded by differentially drifting from the oil-impacted areas during the following days. In the arctic stream, Trichotanypus posticalis (Diptera) showed a significant increase in drift for the first few days. There was also an overall increase in drift of total organisms post spill. Phaenospectra sp. 1, the numerical dominant, decreased its nocturnal drifting compared with the upstream control station in the 5 days post spill. In the subarctic stream, Skwala sp. 1 (Plecoptera), Prosimulium sp. 1 (Simulidae) and Pseudodiamesa sp. 1 showed significant increase din drift post spill. Among the species of benthic invertebrates sampled with a Hess sampler (WILDCO, Saginaw, Mich.), only the density of Nemoura sp. 1 declined significantly post spill. Polar ordinations using percent difference showed that the oil-treated stations separated from the control stations in both the drift and the Hess bottom samples. Colonization of artificial substrates in Imnavait Creek during the winter following the spill was almost non-existent. In Poker-Caribou Creek much colonization took place over the winter with significantly more occurring on unoiled rocks as compared with oiled rocks.

  12. CO2 and CH4 in sea ice from a subarctic fjord under influence of riverine input

    Crabeck, O.; Delille, B.; Thomas, D. N.

    2014-01-01

    We present CH4 concentration [CH4] and the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in bulk sea ice from subarctic, land-fast sea ice in the Kapisillit fjord, Greenland. The bulk ice [CH4] ranged from 1.8 to 12.1 nmol L−1, which corresponds to a partial pressure range of 3 to 28 ppmv. This is markedly higher......-saturated compared to the atmosphere (390 ppmv). Our study adds to the few existing studies of CH4 and CO2 in sea ice and concludes that sub-arctic sea can be a sink for atmospheric CO2, while being a net source of CH4. Processes related to the freezing and melting of sea ice represents large unknowns...... to the exchange of CO2 but also CH4. It is therefore imperative to assess the consequences of these unknowns through further field campaigns and targeted research under other sea ice conditions at both hemispheres....

  13. Transformation of leaf litter by insect herbivory in the Subarctic: Consequences for soil biogeochemistry under global change

    Kristensen, J. A.; Metcalfe, D. B.; Rousk, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate warming may increase insect herbivore ranges and outbreak intensities in arctic ecosystems. Thorough understanding of the implications of these changes for ecosystem processes is essential to make accurate predictions of surface-atmosphere carbon (C) feedbacks. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of herbivore outbreaks on soil microbial underpinnings of C and nitrogen (N) fluxes. Here, we investigate the growth responses of heterotrophic soil decomposers and C and N mineralisation to simulated defoliator outbreaks in Subarctic birch forests. In microcosms, topsoil was incubated with leaf litter, insect frass, mineral N and combinations of the three; all was added in equal amounts of N. A higher fraction of added C and N was mineralised during outbreaks (frass addition) relative to non-outbreak years (litter addition). However, under high mineral N-availability in the soil of the kind likely under longer periods of enhanced insect herbivory (litter+mineral N), the mineralised fraction of added C decreased while the mineralised fraction of N increased substantially, which suggest a shift towards more N-mining of the organic substrates. This shift was accompanied by higher fungal dominance, and may facilitate soil C-accumulation assuming constant quality of C-inputs. Thus, long-term increases of insect herbivory, of the kind observed in some areas and projected by some models, may facilitate higher ecosystem C-sink capacity in this Subarctic ecosystem.

  14. Revegetation and soil development on anthropogenic disturbances in shrub tundra, 50 years following construction of the CANOL No. 1 pipeline, N.W.T

    Harper, K.A.

    1994-01-01

    An intensive study of long-term revegetation patterns of erect deciduous shrub tundra on anthropogenic disturbances was conducted in the summer of 1993 within the CANOL pipeline corridor, Northwest Territories. Soil development, primary and secondary succession were investigated on 10 m by 20 m sites in vehicle tracks and borrow pits. Data were collected on the cover of all vascular and non-vascular species. Soil temperature, pH, organic matter, moisture and particle size composition were determined. Patterns in plant species composition and soil characteristics among disturbance types were examined using detrended correspondence analysis. The importance of the measured abiotic factors in explaining the differences in species composition was revealed by canonical correspondence analysis. Significant differences in species composition were evident among disturbance types. Different taxonomic groups exhibited different responses to disturbance. Soil samples in linear disturbances were analogous to those in undisturbed areas. Warmer, drier and less acidic soils in borrow pits contained less organic matter and fine particles than undisturbed soils. Soil temperature was considered the most important measured environmental variable in accounting for the revegetation patterns on disturbance with the microclimate stations. Comparison with a similar study on revegetation in the CANOL corridor in 1978 suggest that revegetation and soil development are proceeding faster on linear disturbances than borrow pits. 150 figs., 37 figs., 28 tabs

  15. Effects of climate on organic carbon and the ratio of planktonic to benthic primary producers in a subarctic lake during the past 45 years

    Rosén, Peter; Cunningham, Laura; Vonk, Jorien; Karlsson, Jan

    The effects of climatic variables on lake-water total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations and benthic and pelagic primary producers during the past 45 yr were assessed using the sediment records of two subarctic lakes, one with mires and one without mires connected to the lake. The lake with a mire

  16. Growing season CH4 and N2O fluxes from a subarctic landscape in northern Finland; from chamber to landscape scale

    Dinsmore, Kerry J.; Drewer, Julia; Levy, Peter E.; George, Charles; Lohila, Annalea; Aurela, Mika; Skiba, Ute M.

    2017-02-01

    Subarctic and boreal emissions of CH4 are important contributors to the atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) balance and subsequently the global radiative forcing. Whilst N2O emissions may be lower, the much greater radiative forcing they produce justifies their inclusion in GHG studies. In addition to the quantification of flux magnitude, it is essential that we understand the drivers of emissions to be able to accurately predict climate-driven changes and potential feedback mechanisms. Hence this study aims to increase our understanding of what drives fluxes of CH4 and N2O in a subarctic forest/wetland landscape during peak summer conditions and into the shoulder season, exploring both spatial and temporal variability, and uses satellite-derived spectral data to extrapolate from chamber-scale fluxes to a 2 km × 2 km landscape area.From static chamber measurements made during summer and autumn campaigns in 2012 in the Sodankylä region of northern Finland, we concluded that wetlands represent a significant source of CH4 (3.35 ± 0.44 mg C m-2 h-1 during the summer campaign and 0.62 ± 0.09 mg C m-2 h-1 during the autumn campaign), whilst the surrounding forests represent a small sink (-0.06 ± zero across both ecosystems.We found a weak negative relationship between CH4 emissions and water table depth in the wetland, with emissions decreasing as the water table approached and flooded the soil surface and a positive relationship between CH4 emissions and the presence of Sphagnum mosses. Temperature was also an important driver of CH4 with emissions increasing to a peak at approximately 12 °C. Little could be determined about the drivers of N2O emissions given the small magnitude of the fluxes.A multiple regression modelling approach was used to describe CH4 emissions based on spectral data from PLEIADES PA1 satellite imagery across a 2 km × 2 km landscape. When applied across the whole image domain we calculated a CH4 source of 2.05 ± 0.61 mg C m-2 h-1. This was

  17. The employment of weather satellite imagery in an effort to identify and locate the forest-tundra ecotone in Canada

    Aldrich, S. A.; Aldrich, F. T.; Rudd, R. D.

    1969-01-01

    Weather satellite imagery provides the only routinely available orbital imagery depicting the high latitudes. Although resolution is low on this imagery, it is believed that a major natural feature, notably linear in expression, should be mappable on it. The transition zone from forest to tundra, the ecotone, is such a feature. Locational correlation is herein established between a linear signature on the imagery and several ground truth positions of the ecotone in Canada.

  18. Landsat-based Analysis of Mountain Forest-tundra Ecotone Response to Climate Trends in Sayan Mountains

    Kharuk, Viatcheslav I.; Im, Sergey T.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2007-01-01

    observations of temperatures Siberia has shown a several degree warming over the past 30 years. It is expected that forest will respond to warming at high latitudes through increased tree growth and northward or upward slope migration. migration. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. Making repeated satellite observations over several decades provides an opportunity to track vegetation response to climate change. Based on Landsat data of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure and an upward tree-line shift in the of the forest-tundra ecotone during the last quarter of the 2oth century,. On-ground observations, supporting these results, also showed regeneration of Siberian pine in the alpine tundra, and the transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal (upright) forms. During this time period sparse stands transformed into closed stands, with existing closed stands increasing in area at a rate of approx. 1 %/yr, and advancing their upper border at a vertical rate of approx. 1.0 m/yr. In addition, the vertical rate of regeneration propagation is approx. 5 m/yr. It was also found that these changes correlated positively with temperature trends

  19. Cesium-137 inventories in Alaskan Tundra, lake and marine sediments: An indicator of recent organic material transport?

    Grebmeier, J.M.; Cooper, L.W.; Larsen, I.L.; Solis, C.; Olsen, C.R.

    1993-01-01

    Tundra sampling was accomplished in 1989--1990 at Imnavait Creek, Alaska (68 degree 37' N, 149 degree 17' W). Inventories of 137 Cs (102--162 mBq/cm 2 ) are close to expectations, based upon measured atmospheric deposition for this latitude. Accumulated inventories of 137 Cs in tundra decrease by up to 50% along a transect to Prudhoe Bay (70 degree 13' N, 148 degree 30' W). Atmospheric deposition of 137 Cs decreased with latitude in the Arctic, but declines in deposition would have been relatively small over this distance (200 km). This suggests a recent loss of 137 Cs and possibly associated organic matter from tundra over the northern portions of the transect between Imnavait Creek and Prudhoe Bay. Sediments from Toolik Lake (68 degree 38' N, 149 degree 38' W) showed widely varying 137 Cs inventories, from a low of 22 mBq/cm 2 away from the lake inlet, to a high between 140 to >200 mBq/cm 2 near the main stream inflow. This was indicative of recent accumulation of cesium and possibly organic material associated with it in arctic lakes, although additional sampling is needed

  20. [Impact of industrial pollution on emission of carbon dioxide by soils in the Kola Subarctic Region].

    Koptsik, G N; Kadulin, M S; Zakharova, A I

    2015-01-01

    Soil emission of carbon dioxide, the key component of carbon cycle and the characteristic of soil biological activity, has been studied in background and polluted ecosystems in the Kola subarctic, the large industrial region of Russia. Long-term air pollution by emissions of "Pechenganikel" smelter, the largest source of sulphur dioxide and heavy metals in Northern Europe, has caused the technogenic digression of forest ecosystems. As a result of the digression, the tree layer was destructed, the number of plant species was diminished, the activity of soil biota was weakened, the soils were polluted and exhausted, biogeochemical cycles of elements were disturbed and productivity of ecosystems shrunk. Field investigations revealed the decrease of the in.situ soil respiration in average from 190-230 mg C-CO2/m2 x per h in background pine forests to 130-160, 100, and 20 mg C-CO2/m2.per h at the stages of pine defoliation, sparse pine forest and technogenic barrens of the technogenic succession, respectively. The soil respira- tion in birch forests was more intense than in pine forests and tended to decrease from about 290 mg C-CO2/m2 x per h in background forests to 210-220 and 170-190 mg C-CO2/m2 x per h in defoliating forests and technogenic sparse forests, respectively. Due to high spatial variability of soil respiration in both pine and birch forests significant differences from the background level were found only in technogenic sparse forests and barrens. Soil respiration represents total production of carbon dioxide by plant roots and soil microorganisms. The decrease in share of root respiration in the total soil respiration with the rise of pollution from 38-57% in background forests up to zero in technogenic barrens has been revealed for the first time for this region. This indicates that plants seem to be more sensitive to pollution as compared to relatively resistant microorganisms. Soil respiration and the contribution of roots to the total respiration

  1. Quantifying landscape-level methane fluxes in subarctic Finland using a multiscale approach.

    Hartley, Iain P; Hill, Timothy C; Wade, Thomas J; Clement, Robert J; Moncrieff, John B; Prieto-Blanco, Ana; Disney, Mathias I; Huntley, Brian; Williams, Mathew; Howden, Nicholas J K; Wookey, Philip A; Baxter, Robert

    2015-10-01

    Quantifying landscape-scale methane (CH4 ) fluxes from boreal and arctic regions, and determining how they are controlled, is critical for predicting the magnitude of any CH4 emission feedback to climate change. Furthermore, there remains uncertainty regarding the relative importance of small areas of strong methanogenic activity, vs. larger areas with net CH4 uptake, in controlling landscape-level fluxes. We measured CH4 fluxes from multiple microtopographical subunits (sedge-dominated lawns, interhummocks and hummocks) within an aapa mire in subarctic Finland, as well as in drier ecosystems present in the wider landscape, lichen heath and mountain birch forest. An intercomparison was carried out between fluxes measured using static chambers, up-scaled using a high-resolution landcover map derived from aerial photography and eddy covariance. Strong agreement was observed between the two methodologies, with emission rates greatest in lawns. CH4 fluxes from lawns were strongly related to seasonal fluctuations in temperature, but their floating nature meant that water-table depth was not a key factor in controlling CH4 release. In contrast, chamber measurements identified net CH4 uptake in birch forest soils. An intercomparison between the aerial photography and satellite remote sensing demonstrated that quantifying the distribution of the key CH4 emitting and consuming plant communities was possible from satellite, allowing fluxes to be scaled up to a 100 km(2) area. For the full growing season (May to October), ~ 1.1-1.4 g CH4  m(-2) was released across the 100 km(2) area. This was based on up-scaled lawn emissions of 1.2-1.5 g CH4  m(-2) , vs. an up-scaled uptake of 0.07-0.15 g CH4  m(-2) by the wider landscape. Given the strong temperature sensitivity of the dominant lawn fluxes, and the fact that lawns are unlikely to dry out, climate warming may substantially increase CH4 emissions in northern Finland, and in aapa mire regions in general. © 2015 The

  2. Using 67Cu to study the biogeochemical cycling of copper in the northeast subarctic Pacific Ocean

    David M Semeniuk

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbial copper (Cu nutrition and dissolved Cu speciation were surveyed along Line P, a coastal to open ocean transect that extends from the coast of British Columbia, Canada, to the high-nutrient-low-chlorophyll (HNLC zone of the northeast subarctic Pacific Ocean. Steady-state size fractionated Cu uptake rates and Cu:C assimilation ratios were determined at in situ Cu concentrations and speciation using a 67Cu tracer method. The cellular Cu:C ratios that we measured (~30 µmol Cu mol C-1 are similar to recent estimates using synchrotron x-ray fluorescence (SXRF, suggesting that the 67Cu method can determine in situ metabolic Cu demands. We examined how environmental changes along the Line P transect influenced Cu metabolism in the sub-microplankton community. Cellular Cu:C assimilation ratios and uptake rates were compared with net primary productivity, bacterial abundance and productivity, total dissolved Cu, Cu speciation, and a suite of other chemical and biological parameters. Total dissolved Cu concentrations ([Cu]d were within a narrow range (1.46 to 2.79 nM, and Cu was bound to a ~5-fold excess of strong ligands with conditional stability constants ( of ~1014. Free Cu2+ concentrations were low (pCu 14.4 to 15.1, and total and size fractionated net primary productivity (NPPV; µg C L-1 d-1 were negatively correlated with inorganic Cu concentrations ([Cu′]. We suggest this is due to greater Cu′ drawdown by faster growing phytoplankton populations. Using the relationship between [Cu′] drawdown and NPPV, we calculated a regional photosynthetic Cu:C drawdown export ratio between 1.5 and 15 µmol Cu mol C-1, and a mixed layer residence time (2.5 to 8 years that is similar to other independent estimates (2-12 years. Total particulate Cu uptake rates were between 22 and 125 times faster than estimates of Cu export; this is possibly mediated by rapid cellular Cu uptake and efflux by phytoplankton and bacteria or the effects of grazers and

  3. Differentiating TOC sources, preservation, and potential methane emissions in sub-Arctic lakes in Sweden

    Johnson, J. E.; Varner, R. K.; Wik, M.; Chanton, J.; Crill, P. M.

    2015-12-01

    Organic carbon-rich sediments from high latitude, shallow lakes and ponds are significant sources of methane throughout the Arctic. The origin and evolution of these lakes and ponds, however, is often not the same. Several lake types have been identified based on (1) hydrological conditions (melt-water fed, rain water fed, groundwater influenced, evaporation dominated, drained) (2) permafrost condition (thermokarst), and (3) time of origin (glacial or post-glacial). Given sufficient time (100's to 1000's years) many of these lake types may morph into others. In sub-Arctic Sweden, near Abisko and within the zone of discontinuous permafrost, the elongate glacial lake Torneträsk is fed by several streams draining the surrounding highlands. Lake Tornetrask is one of several NW-SE trending glacial lakes common in the landscape throughout northern and western Sweden. Between and alongside these glacial lakes, several small (ponds exist in low-lying mires. Sediment cores from the lakes in the Stordalen Mire are characterized by high total organic carbon (TOC) content (10-50 wt. %) in the uppermost ~50 cm and commonly underlain by glaciofluvial derived sediments with lower TOC (emissions from several of these lakes has also been measured and is driven by heat input. Coincident young ages of carbon in the sediments and in methane indicate in situ production. A published record from Lake Torneträsk shows sediments there contain significantly less TOC (1-2.5 wt. %) that is derived primarily from old, terrestrial organic carbon delivered via rivers to the lake. Although the larger and deeper glacial lakes currently occupy much of the landscape it is becoming clear that as the Arctic warms TOC preservation and methane production in the smaller lakes and ponds play a more significant, immediate role in emission of methane to the atmosphere. With continued warming in the Arctic, terrestrial TOC will be relinquished from highland watersheds to glacial lakes, but the methane

  4. Response Characteristics of Dissolved Organic Carbon Flushing in a Subarctic Alpine Catchment

    Carey, S. K.

    2002-12-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is an important part of ecosystem-scale carbon balances and in the transport of contaminants as it interacts with other dissolved substances including trace metals. It also can be used as a surrogate hydrological tracer in permafrost regions as near-surface waters are often DOC enriched due to the presence of thick organic soils. In a small subarctic alpine catchment within the Wolf Creek Research Basin, Yukon, Canada, DOC was studied in the summer of 2001 and spring of 2002 to determine the role frost (both permanent and seasonal), snowmelt and summer storms on DOC flushing. Peak DOC concentrations occurred during the snowmelt period, approximately one week prior to peak discharge. However, peak discharge took place several weeks after snow on south facing exposures had melted. Within the hillslopes, DOC concentrations were three to five times greater in wells underlain with permafrost compared with seasonal frost. Groundwater DOC concentrations declined during snowmelt, yet remained at levels above the streamflow. After peaking, streamflow DOC concentrations declined exponentially suggesting a simple flushing mechanism, however there did not appear to be a relation between DOC and topographic position. Following melt, permafrost underlain slopes had near-surface water tables and retained elevated levels of DOC, whereas slopes without permafrost had rapidly declining water tables at upslope locations with low DOC concentrations at all positions except near-stream riparian zones. The influence of summer rainstorms on DOC was monitored on three occasions. In each case DOC peaked on the ascending limb of the runoff hydrograph and declined exponentially on the receding limb and hysteretic behavior occurred between discharge and DOC during all events. Patterns of DOC within the hillslopes and streams suggest that runoff from permafrost-underlain slopes control DOC flushing within the stream during both snowmelt and summer periods. This

  5. Sea Ice, Hydrocarbon Extraction, Rain-on-Snow and Tundra Reindeer Nomadism in Arctic Russia

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Meschtyb, N.; Laptander, R.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Verdonen, M.

    2015-12-01

    It is assumed that retreating sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic will accelerate hydrocarbon development and associated tanker traffic along Russia's Northern Sea Route. However, oil and gas extraction along the Kara and Barents Sea coasts will likely keep developing rapidly regardless of whether the Northwest Eurasian climate continues to warm. Less certain are the real and potential linkages to regional biota and social-ecological systems. Reindeer nomadism continues to be a vitally important livelihood for indigenous tundra Nenets and their large herds of semi-domestic reindeer. Warming summer air temperatures over the NW Russian Arctic have been linked to increases in tundra productivity, longer growing seasons, and accelerated growth of tall deciduous shrubs. These temperature increases have, in turn, been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, winters have been warming and rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense, leading to record-breaking winter and spring mortality of reindeer. What is driving this increase in ROS frequency and intensity is not clear. Recent modelling and simulation have found statistically significant near-surface atmospheric warming and precipitation increases during autumn and winter over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to regions of sea-ice loss. During the winter of 2013-14 an extensive and lasting ROS event led to the starvation of 61,000 reindeer out of a population of ca. 300,000 animals on Yamal Peninsula, West Siberia. Historically, this is the region's largest recorded mortality episode. More than a year later, participatory fieldwork with nomadic herders during spring-summer 2015 revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from this extreme event will unfold for years to come. There is an urgent need to understand whether and how ongoing Barents and Kara Sea ice retreat may affect the region's ancient

  6. Application of global datasets for hydrological modelling of a remote, snowmelt driven catchment in the Canadian Sub-Arctic

    Casson, David; Werner, Micha; Weerts, Albrecht; Schellekens, Jaap; Solomatine, Dimitri

    2017-04-01

    Hydrological modelling in the Canadian Sub-Arctic is hindered by the limited spatial and temporal coverage of local meteorological data. Local watershed modelling often relies on data from a sparse network of meteorological stations with a rough density of 3 active stations per 100,000 km2. Global datasets hold great promise for application due to more comprehensive spatial and extended temporal coverage. A key objective of this study is to demonstrate the application of global datasets and data assimilation techniques for hydrological modelling of a data sparse, Sub-Arctic watershed. Application of available datasets and modelling techniques is currently limited in practice due to a lack of local capacity and understanding of available tools. Due to the importance of snow processes in the region, this study also aims to evaluate the performance of global SWE products for snowpack modelling. The Snare Watershed is a 13,300 km2 snowmelt driven sub-basin of the Mackenzie River Basin, Northwest Territories, Canada. The Snare watershed is data sparse in terms of meteorological data, but is well gauged with consistent discharge records since the late 1970s. End of winter snowpack surveys have been conducted every year from 1978-present. The application of global re-analysis datasets from the EU FP7 eartH2Observe project are investigated in this study. Precipitation data are taken from Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP) and temperature data from Watch Forcing Data applied to European Reanalysis (ERA)-Interim data (WFDEI). GlobSnow-2 is a global Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) measurement product funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and is also evaluated over the local watershed. Downscaled precipitation, temperature and potential evaporation datasets are used as forcing data in a distributed version of the HBV model implemented in the WFLOW framework. Results demonstrate the successful application of global datasets in local watershed modelling, but

  7. Experimentally increased nutrient availability at the permafrost thaw front selectively enhances biomass production of deep-rooting subarctic peatland species.

    Keuper, Frida; Dorrepaal, Ellen; van Bodegom, Peter M; van Logtestijn, Richard; Venhuizen, Gemma; van Hal, Jurgen; Aerts, Rien

    2017-10-01

    Climate warming increases nitrogen (N) mineralization in superficial soil layers (the dominant rooting zone) of subarctic peatlands. Thawing and subsequent mineralization of permafrost increases plant-available N around the thaw-front. Because plant production in these peatlands is N-limited, such changes may substantially affect net primary production and species composition. We aimed to identify the potential impact of increased N-availability due to permafrost thawing on subarctic peatland plant production and species performance, relative to the impact of increased N-availability in superficial organic layers. Therefore, we investigated whether plant roots are present at the thaw-front (45 cm depth) and whether N-uptake ( 15 N-tracer) at the thaw-front occurs during maximum thaw-depth, coinciding with the end of the growing season. Moreover, we performed a unique 3-year belowground fertilization experiment with fully factorial combinations of deep- (thaw-front) and shallow-fertilization (10 cm depth) and controls. We found that certain species are present with roots at the thaw-front (Rubus chamaemorus) and have the capacity (R. chamaemorus, Eriophorum vaginatum) for N-uptake from the thaw-front between autumn and spring when aboveground tissue is largely senescent. In response to 3-year shallow-belowground fertilization (S) both shallow- (Empetrum hermaphroditum) and deep-rooting species increased aboveground biomass and N-content, but only deep-rooting species responded positively to enhanced nutrient supply at the thaw-front (D). Moreover, the effects of shallow-fertilization and thaw-front fertilization on aboveground biomass production of the deep-rooting species were similar in magnitude (S: 71%; D: 111% increase compared to control) and additive (S + D: 181% increase). Our results show that plant-available N released from thawing permafrost can form a thus far overlooked additional N-source for deep-rooting subarctic plant species and increase their

  8. Examining the relationship between mercury and organic matter in lake sediments along a latitudinal transect in subarctic Canada

    Galloway, Jennifer M.; Sanei, Hamed; Parsons, Michael; Swindles, Graeme T.; Macumber, Andrew L.; Patterson, R. Timothy; Palmer, Michael; Falck, Hendrik

    2016-04-01

    The accumulation of Hg in aquatic environments at both high and low latitudes can be controlled by organic matter through algal scavenging, thus complicating the interpretation of historical Hg profiles in lake sediments1,2,3. However, other recent studies suggest that algal scavenging is not important in governing Hg flux to sediments4, in some cases because of dilution by inorganic materials5. This study examines relationships between Hg and organic matter (OM) in over 100 lakes located between 60.5 and 65.4 °N and crossing the latitudinal tree-line in subarctic Canada. The latitudinal gradient approach in our study offers an opportunity to better understand climate and environmental controls on OM accumulation and its role in influencing Hg deposition in subarctic lacustrine environments. We used Rock Eval 6 pyrolysis to determine total organic carbon (TOC%), S1 (soluble OM consisting of degradable lipids and algal pigments), S2 (OM derived from highly aliphatic biomacromolecule structure of algal cell walls), and S3 (OM dominated by carbohydrates, lignins, and plant materials). Total Hg in sediments was measured using thermal decomposition, amalgamation, and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. In these lake sediments, S2 composes the majority of TOC (Pearson's r = 0.978, porganic matter and mercury in recent lake sediment: the physical-geochemical aspects. Appl Geochem 21: 1900-12. 2Outridge, P.M., Sanei, H., Stern, G.A., Hamilton, P.B., Goodarzi, F. 2007. Evidence for control of mercury accumulation rates in Canadian high Arctic lake sediments by variations of aquatic primary productivity. Environ Sci Technol 41: 5259-65. 3Wu, F., Zu, L., Liao, H., Guo, F., Zhao, X., Giesy, J. 2013. Relationship between mercury and organic carbon in sediment cores from Lakes Qinghai and Chenghai, China. J Soils Sediments 13: 1084-1092.4Kirk, J.L., Muir, D.C.G., Antoniades, D., Douglas, M.S.V., Evans, M.S., Jackson, T.A., Kling, H., Lamoureux, S., Lim, D.S.S., Pienitz, R

  9. Parental care in Tundra Swans during the pre-fledgling period

    Earnst, Susan L.

    2002-01-01

    Among studies that have quantified the care of precocial young, few have investigated forms of parental care other than vigilance. During the pre-fledging period, Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) parents provided simultaneous biparental care by foraging near each other and their cygnets, and cygnets spent more time foraging during bouts in which both parents were foraging nearby than when only one parent was foraging nearby. Parents spent nearly twice as much foraging time on land than did non-parents, a habitat in which cygnets foraged more intensely than parents (i.e., spent more time foraging during foraging bouts) and could graze on protein-rich sedges rather than use more difficult below-water foraging methods. Parents also spent more than twice as much time being vigilant and more than three times as much time defending their territory than non-parents, behaviors that presumably benefited cygents by decreasing predation risk and indirect foraging competition, respectively. Parents therefore incurred the costs of foraging less intensely during foraging bouts, spending more time interacting, more time in vigilance, and less time sleeping/preening than non-parents.

  10. On the influence of the tundra on the EnEV

    Genath, B.

    2004-01-01

    This extensive article discusses the European General Energy-Efficiency Guidelines for Buildings that are to be implemented in national legislation by 2006. This extensive article looks at questions concerning the implementation of these guidelines, which not only limit the amount of primary energy used for heating, but also that used for air-conditioning and lighting. The new regulations are compared with the existing German EnEV energy-efficiency regulations. The advantages and the weak points of the latter are discussed. Several special cases are quoted and improvements are suggested, including the adoption of the best part-implementations from existing national regulations. The interdisciplinary approach necessary is discussed. Also the effects of the EU-EnEV on emissions trading is looked at. The situation concerning CO 2 and global warming in Russia is examined in the light of emissions-trading efforts - and even the climatic pros and cons of letting the permafrost of the tundra melt are discussed

  11. Biological methanol production by immobilized Methylocella tundrae using simulated biohythane as a feed.

    Patel, Sanjay K S; Singh, Raushan K; Kumar, Ashok; Jeong, Jae-Hoon; Jeong, Seong Hun; Kalia, Vipin C; Kim, In-Won; Lee, Jung-Kul

    2017-10-01

    Biohythane may be used as an alternative feed for methanol production instead of costly pure methane. In this study, methanol production potential of Methylocella tundrae immobilized through covalent immobilization, adsorption, and encapsulation was evaluated. Cells covalently immobilized on groundnut shells and chitosan showed a relative methanol production potential of 83.9 and 91.6%, respectively, compared to that of free cells. The maximum methanol production by free cells and cells covalently immobilized on groundnut shells and chitosan was 6.73, 6.20, and 7.23mM, respectively, using simulated biohythane as a feed. Under repeated batch conditions of eight cycles, cells covalently immobilized on chitosan and groundnut shells, and cells encapsulated in sodium-alginate resulted in significantly higher cumulative methanol production of 37.76, 31.80, and 25.58mM, respectively, than free cells (18.57mM). This is the first report on immobilization of methanotrophs on groundnut shells and its application in methanol production using biohythane as a feed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. [Methanotrophs of the psychrophilic microbial community of the Russian Arctic tundra].

    Berestovskaia, Iu Iu; Vasil'eva, L V; Chestnykh, O V; Zavarzin, G A

    2002-01-01

    In tundra, at a low temperature, there exists a slowly developing methanotrophic community. Methane-oxidizing bacteria are associated with plants growing at high humidity, such as sedge and sphagnum; no methonotrophs were found in polytrichous and aulacomnious mosses and lichens, typical of more arid areas. The methanotrophic bacterial community inhabits definite soil horizons, from moss dust to peat formed from it. Potential ability of the methanotrophic community to oxidize methane at 5 degrees C enhances with the depth of the soil profile in spite of the decreasing soil temperature. The methanotrophic community was found to gradually adapt to various temperatures due to the presence of different methane-oxidizing bacteria in its composition. Depending on the temperature and pH, different methanotrophs occupy different econiches. Within a temperature range from 5 to 15 degrees C, three morphologically distinct groups of methanotrophs could be distinguished. At pH 5-7 and 5-15 degrees C, forms morphologically similar to Methylobacter psychrophilus predominated, whereas at the acidic pH 4-6 and 10-15 degrees C, bipolar cells typical of Methylocella palustris were mostly found. The third group of methanotrophic bacteria growing at pH 5-7 and 5-10 degrees C was represented by a novel methanotroph whole large coccoid cells had a thick mucous capsule.

  13. Potential of Immobilized Whole-Cell Methylocella tundrae as a Biocatalyst for Methanol Production from Methane.

    Mardina, Primata; Li, Jinglin; Patel, Sanjay K S; Kim, In-Won; Lee, Jung-Kul; Selvaraj, Chandrabose

    2016-07-28

    Methanol is a versatile compound that can be biologically synthesized from methane (CH4) by methanotrophs using a low energy-consuming and environment-friendly process. Methylocella tundrae is a type II methanotroph that can utilize CH4 as a carbon and energy source. Methanol is produced in the first step of the metabolic pathway of methanotrophs and is further oxidized into formaldehyde. Several parameters must be optimized to achieve high methanol production. In this study, we optimized the production conditions and process parameters for methanol production. The optimum incubation time, substrate, pH, agitation rate, temperature, phosphate buffer and sodium formate concentration, and cell concentration were determined to be 24 h, 50% CH4, pH 7, 150 rpm, 30°C, 100 mM and 50 mM, and 18 mg/ml, respectively. The optimization of these parameters significantly improved methanol production from 0.66 to 5.18 mM. The use of alginate-encapsulated cells resulted in enhanced methanol production stability and reusability of cells after five cycles of reuse under batch culture conditions.

  14. Relocation of major ions in snow along the tundra-taiga ecotone

    Pomeroy, J.W.; Marsh, P. (Environment Canada, Saskatoon (Canada)); Lesack, L. (Simon Fraser Univeristy, Burnaby, (Canada))

    1993-01-01

    The chemistry of seasonal snowcovers north of Unuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada was stratified by biophysical landscape. In this region, deposition of ions in winter occurs largely through the redistribution of wind-blown snow with accumulations in forest-edges and valley sides 8 to 12 times that of the open tundra. While dominated by this snow redistribution, the loading of most ions, except for SO[sub 4][sup 2-], does not scale exactly with that of snow, there being several mechanisms by which ion concentrations become relatively enriched or depleted in various landscape units. Vaporisation during temperature-gradient metamorphism in shallow-snow and uptake during either photochemical reactions or gaseous scavenging to well-exposed snow transformed concentrations of NO[sub 3][sup -] by 50%. Dry deposition of aerosols to forested terrain and valley bottoms enriched Cl[sup -], Na[sup +], Mg[sup 2]-[sup +], K[sup +] and Ca[sup 2+] concentrations up to more than two-fold, however scavenging of aerosols to blowing snow particles contributed an additional 40% to the sea-salt enrichment and 20% to the Ca[sup 2+] enrichment in wind-blown treeline forests. It is concluded that central measurements of snow chemistry in the Arctic cannot be reliably extrapolated without reference to changes caused by over-winter physical and chemical metamorphic processes. Associating the physical/chemical changes with readily identifiable Arctic landscape units suggests a simple and robust method for spatial extrapolation. (au) (26 refs.)

  15. Calibration and Validation of Landsat Tree Cover in the Taiga−Tundra Ecotone

    Paul Mannix Montesano

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring current forest characteristics in the taiga−tundra ecotone (TTE at multiple scales is critical for understanding its vulnerability to structural changes. A 30 m spatial resolution Landsat-based tree canopy cover map has been calibrated and validated in the TTE with reference tree cover data from airborne LiDAR and high resolution spaceborne images across the full range of boreal forest tree cover. This domain-specific calibration model used estimates of forest height to determine reference forest cover that best matched Landsat estimates. The model removed the systematic under-estimation of tree canopy cover >80% and indicated that Landsat estimates of tree canopy cover more closely matched canopies at least 2 m in height rather than 5 m. The validation improved estimates of uncertainty in tree canopy cover in discontinuous TTE forests for three temporal epochs (2000, 2005, and 2010 by reducing systematic errors, leading to increases in tree canopy cover uncertainty. Average pixel-level uncertainties in tree canopy cover were 29.0%, 27.1% and 31.1% for the 2000, 2005 and 2010 epochs, respectively. Maps from these calibrated data improve the uncertainty associated with Landsat tree canopy cover estimates in the discontinuous forests of the circumpolar TTE.

  16. Fungi benefit from two decades of increased nutrient availability in tundra heath soil.

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    If microbial degradation of carbon substrates in arctic soil is stimulated by climatic warming, this would be a significant positive feedback on global change. With data from a climate change experiment in Northern Sweden we show that warming and enhanced soil nutrient availability, which is a predicted long-term consequence of climatic warming and mimicked by fertilization, both increase soil microbial biomass. However, while fertilization increased the relative abundance of fungi, warming caused only a minimal shift in the microbial community composition based on the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and neutral lipid fatty acid (NLFA) profiles. The function of the microbial community was also differently affected, as indicated by stable isotope probing of PLFA and NLFA. We demonstrate that two decades of fertilization have favored fungi relative to bacteria, and increased the turnover of complex organic compounds such as vanillin, while warming has had no such effects. Furthermore, the NLFA-to-PLFA ratio for (13)C-incorporation from acetate increased in warmed plots but not in fertilized ones. Thus, fertilization cannot be used as a proxy for effects on warming in arctic tundra soils. Furthermore, the different functional responses suggest that the biomass increase found in both fertilized and warmed plots was mediated via different mechanisms.

  17. Movement of foraging Tundra Swans explained by spatial pattern in cryptic food densities.

    Klaassen, Raymond H G; Nolet, Bart A; Bankert, Daniëlle

    2006-09-01

    We tested whether Tundra Swans use information on the spatial distribution of cryptic food items (below ground Sago pondweed tubers) to shape their movement paths. In a continuous environment, swans create their own food patches by digging craters, which they exploit in several feeding bouts. Series of short (1 m). Tuber biomass densities showed a positive spatial auto-correlation at a short distance (25 g/m2) and to a more distant patch (at 7-8 m) if the food density in the current patch had been low (3 m) from a low-density patch and a short distance (<3 m) from a high-density patch. The quantitative agreement between prediction and observation was greater for swans feeding in pairs than for solitary swans. The result of this movement strategy is that swans visit high-density patches at a higher frequency than on offer and, consequently, achieve a 38% higher long-term gain rate. Swans also take advantage of spatial variance in food abundance by regulating the time in patches, staying longer and consuming more food from rich than from poor patches. We can conclude that the shape of the foraging path is a reflection of the spatial pattern in the distribution of tuber densities and can be understood from an optimal foraging perspective.

  18. Annual survival rates of adult and immature eastern population tundra swans

    Nichols, J.D.; Bart, J.; Limpert, R.J.; Sladen, William J. L.; Hines, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus ) of the eastern population were neckbanded in Maryland, North Carolina, and Alaska from 1966 through 1990. These swans were resighted and recaptured during autumn, winter, and spring, 1966-1990. Although the original motivation for this study involved swan movements, we wanted to use the resulting data to test hypotheses about sources of variation in swan survival rates. Recaptures of legbanded and neckbanded swans permitted us to estimate neckband loss rates, which were found to vary with age and sex of swans, and number of years since initial application. Estimates of annual neckband retention rate ranged from about 0.50 for adult male swans greater than or equal to 2 years after initial neckbanding to > 0.96 for immature swans and adult females the first year following neckbanding. This variation in neckband loss rates prevented the simple correction of survival estimates to account for such loss. Consequently, we developed a series of multinomial models parameterized with survival, sighting, and neckband retention probabilities for use with the recapture and resighting data.

  19. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena Delta

    S. Höfle

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated soil organic matter (OM composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena Delta, Russia, by applying density and particle size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little-decomposed material with surprisingly high and strongly increasing apparent 14C ages with active layer depth suggesting slow microbial OM transformation in cold climate. Most soil organic carbon was stored in clay and fine-silt fractions (n-alkane and n-fatty acid compounds and low alkyl/O-alkyl C ratios. Organo-mineral associations, which are suggested to be a key mechanism of OM stabilization in temperate soils, seem to be less important in the active layer as the mainly plant-derived clay- and fine-silt-sized OM was surprisingly "young", with 14C contents similar to the bulk soil values. Furthermore, these fractions contained less organic carbon compared to density fractionated OM occluded in soil aggregates – a further important OM stabilization mechanism in temperate soils restricting accessibility of microorganisms. This process seems to be important at greater active layer depth where particulate OM, occluded in soil aggregates, was "older" than free particulate OM.

  20. Calibration and Validation of Tundra Plant Functional Type Fractional Cover Mapping

    Macander, M. J.; Nelson, P.; Frost, G. V., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    Fractional cover maps are being developed for selected tundra plant functional types (PFTs) across >500,000 sq. km of arctic Alaska and adjacent Canada at 30 m resolution. Training and validation data include a field-based training dataset based on point-intercept sampling method at hundreds of plots spanning bioclimatic and geomorphic gradients. We also compiled 50 blocks of 1-5 cm resolution RGB image mosaics in Alaska (White Mountains, North Slope, and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta) and the Yukon Territory. The mosaics and associated surface and canopy height models were developed using a consumer drone and structure from motion processing. We summarized both the in situ measurements and drone imagery to determine cover of two PFTs: Low and Tall Deciduous Shrub, and Light Fruticose/Foliose Lichen. We applied these data to train 2 m (limited extent) and 30 m (wall to wall) maps of PFT fractional cover for shrubs and lichen. Predictors for 2 m models were commercial satellite imagery such as WorldView-2 and Worldview-3, analyzed on the ABoVE Science Cloud. Predictors for 30 m models were primarily reflectance composites and spectral metrics developed from Landsat imagery, using Google Earth Engine. We compared the performance of models developed from the in situ and drone-derived training data and identify best practices to improve the performance and efficiency of arctic PFT fractional cover mapping.

  1. Disappearing Arctic tundra ponds: Fine-scale analysis of surface hydrology in drained thaw lake basins over a 65 year period (1948-2013)

    Andresen, Christian G.; Lougheed, Vanessa L.

    2015-03-01

    Long-term fine-scale dynamics of surface hydrology in Arctic tundra ponds (less than 1 ha) are largely unknown; however, these small water bodies may contribute substantially to carbon fluxes, energy balance, and biodiversity in the Arctic system. Change in pond area and abundance across the upper Barrow Peninsula, Alaska, was assessed by comparing historic aerial imagery (1948) and modern submeter resolution satellite imagery (2002, 2008, and 2010). This was complemented by photogrammetric analysis of low-altitude kite-borne imagery in combination with field observations (2010-2013) of pond water and thaw depth transects in seven ponds of the International Biological Program historic research site. Over 2800 ponds in 22 drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) with different geological ages were analyzed. We observed a net decrease of 30.3% in area and 17.1% in number of ponds over the 62 year period. The inclusion of field observations of pond areas in 1972 from a historic research site confirms the linear downward trend in area. Pond area and number were dependent on the age of DTLB; however, changes through time were independent of DTLB age, with potential long-term implications for the hypothesized geomorphologic landscape succession of the thaw lake cycle. These losses were coincident with increases in air temperature, active layer, and density and cover of aquatic emergent plants in ponds. Increased evaporation due to warmer and longer summers, permafrost degradation, and transpiration from encroaching aquatic emergent macrophytes are likely the factors contributing to the decline in surface area and number of ponds.

  2. Short-term variability in bacterial abundance, cell properties, and incorporation of leucine and thymidine in subarctic sea ice

    Kaartokallio, H.; Sogaard, D. H.; Norman, L.

    2013-01-01

    Sea ice is a biome of immense size and provides a range of habitats for diverse microbial communities, many of which are adapted to living at low temperatures and high salinities in brines. We measured simultaneous incorporation of thymidine (TdR) and leucine (Leu), bacterial cell abundance...... and cell population properties (by flow cytometry) in subarctic sea ice in SW Greenland. Short-term temporal variability was moderate, and steep environmental gradients, typical for sea ice, were the main drivers of the variability in bacterial cell properties and activity. Low nucleic acid (LNA) bacteria...... and marine biofilm systems. Leu: TdR ratios were high (up to >300) in lowermost ice layers, and when compared to published respiration measurements, these results suggest non-specific Leu incorporation. There was evidence of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-containing bacteria in the sea ice, shown by brightly...

  3. Phytoplankton growth and microzooplankton grazing along a sub-Arctic fjord (Godthåbsfjord, West Greenland)

    Calbet, A.; Riisgaard, Karen; Saiz, E.

    2011-01-01

    the nutrient rich waters in the upwelling area in the vicinity of the glacier. Most of the grazing impact was on the 20 µm microzooplankton, as deducted from additional dilution experiments removing > 20 µm. Overall, little......We evaluated the role of microzooplankton (sensu latto, grazers sea transect in the Greenland subarctic fjord, Godthåbfjord. Based on the distribution of size fractionated chlorophyll a (chl a) concentrations...... we established four zones: i) Fyllas Bank, characterized by deep chl a maxima (ca. 30-40 m) consisting of large cells; ii) the mouth and main branch of the fjord, where phytoplankton was relatively homogeneously distributed in the upper 30 m layer; iii) inner waters influenced by glacial melt water...

  4. Temperature and substrate controls on intra-annual variation in ecosystem respiration in two subarctic vegetation types

    Grogan, Paul; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2005-01-01

    significantly to ecosystem respiration during most phases of winter and summer in the two vegetation types. Ecosystem respiration rates through the year did not differ significantly between vegetation types despite substantial differences in biomass pools, soil depth and temperature regime. Most (76...... contributions of bulk soil organic matter and plant-associated carbon pools to ecosystem respiration is critical to predicting the response of arctic ecosystem net carbon balance to climate change. In this study, we determined the variation in ecosystem respiration rates from birch forest understory and heath......-92%) of the intra-annual variation in ecosystem respiration rates from these two common mesic subarctic ecosystems was explained using a first-order exponential equation relating respiration to substrate chemical quality and soil temperature. Removal of plants and their current year's litter significantly reduced...

  5. Comparisons between POC and zooplankton swimmer flux from sediment traps in the subarctic and subtropical North Pacific

    Yokoi, Naoya; Abe, Yoshiyuki; Kitamura, Minoru; Honda, Makio C.; Yamaguchi, Atsushi

    2018-03-01

    Seasonal changes in zooplankton swimmer (ZS) abundance, biomass and community structure were evaluated based on samples collected by moored sediment traps at a depth of 200 m in the subarctic (SA) and subtropical (ST) western North Pacific. Based on these samples, we made comparisons on two topics: 1) latitudinal (subarctic vs. subtropical) changes in ZS abundance, biomass and community and 2) quantitative differences between the ZS and particle organic carbon (POC) fluxes based on data from moored or drifting sediment traps. The results showed that the ZS flux was greater in the SA (annual mean: 311 ind. m-2 day-1 or 258 mg C m-2 day-1) than in the ST (135 ind. m-2 day-1 or 38 mg C m-2 day-1). The peak ZS flux was observed from July-August in the SA and from April-May in the ST. The dominant taxa were Copepoda and Chaetognatha in the SA and Ostracoda and Mollusca in the ST. These latitudinal differences are likely related to the dominance of large-sized Copepoda in the SA, regional differences in the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom, and the magnitude and size structure of primary producers. The percent composition of ZS to the total C flux (= ZS+POC flux) varied by region: 85-95% in the SA and 47-75% in the ST. These differences between the ZS composition and the total C flux are most likely caused by the dominance of large-sized Copepoda (Neocalanus spp. and Eucalanus bungii) in the SA.

  6. Mesoscale dynamics in the Lofoten Basin - a sub-Arctic "hot spot" of oceanic variability

    Volkov, D. L.; Belonenko, T. V.; Foux, V. R.

    2012-12-01

    A sub-Arctic "hot spot" of intense mesoscale variability is observed in the Lofoten Basin (LB) - a topographic depression with a maximum depth of about 3250 m, located in the Norwegian Sea. The standard deviation of sea surface height (SSH), measured with satellite altimetry, reaches nearly 15 cm in the center of the basin (Figure 1a). Using a space-time lagged correlation analysis of altimetry data, we discover a cyclonic propagation of the mesoscale SSH anomalies around the center of the LB with time-averaged phase speeds of 2-4 km/day, strongly linked to bottom topography (Figure 1c). The fact that surface drifter trajectories do not exhibit cyclonic circulation in the LB (Figure 1b) suggests that, at least in the upper ocean, satellite altimetry observes only the propagation of form without the corresponding transfer of mass. Linearly propagating wavelike disturbances that do not trap fluid inside are related to planetary or Rossby waves. Variations in topography may lead to the concentration of wave energy in certain regions or wave trapping. The dispersion analysis suggests that the observed wavelike cyclonic propagation of SSH anomalies in the LB is the manifestation of baroclinic topographic Rossby waves, that we term "the basin waves" in order to distinguish them from the other types of topographic waves, such as shelf or trench waves. We identify two modes of basin waves in the LB: a di-pole mode and a quadri-pole mode. The wavelength of each mode is about 500 km. The frequency of these modes is not constant and the phase speed varies from about 2 to 8 km/day. We show that the cyclonically rotating basin waves are responsible for the observed amplification of SSH variability in the LB. Because the baroclinic basin waves in the LB are probably associated with large vertical displacements of the thermocline and due to possible wave breaking events, they can play an important role in the mixing of the inflowing Atlantic Water with ambient water masses

  7. A Subpixel Classification of Multispectral Satellite Imagery for Interpetation of Tundra-Taiga Ecotone Vegetation (Case Study on Tuliok River Valley, Khibiny, Russia)

    Mikheeva, A. I.; Tutubalina, O. V.; Zimin, M. V.; Golubeva, E. I.

    2017-12-01

    The tundra-taiga ecotone plays significant role in northern ecosystems. Due to global climatic changes, the vegetation of the ecotone is the key object of many remote-sensing studies. The interpretation of vegetation and nonvegetation objects of the tundra-taiga ecotone on satellite imageries of a moderate resolution is complicated by the difficulty of extracting these objects from the spectral and spatial mixtures within a pixel. This article describes a method for the subpixel classification of Terra ASTER satellite image for vegetation mapping of the tundra-taiga ecotone in the Tuliok River, Khibiny Mountains, Russia. It was demonstrated that this method allows to determine the position of the boundaries of ecotone objects and their abundance on the basis of quantitative criteria, which provides a more accurate characteristic of ecotone vegetation when compared to the per-pixel approach of automatic imagery interpretation.

  8. The Response of Tundra to Biophysical Changes Ten Years Following the Anaktuvuk River Fire, Arctic Foothills, Alaska.

    Jones, B. M.; Miller, E. A.; Jandt, R.; Baughman, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    Ten years following a large and severe wildfire in the arctic foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska, tundra is experiencing rapid biophysical changes. Plant communities are responding to primary disturbance by fire but also to ground-ice melt, terrain subsidence, and apparent increase in soil drainage or evapotranspiration.The Anaktuvuk River Fire burned about 104,000 ha in 2007, spreading over broad ranges in soils, topography, hydrography, and permafrost features. Fourteen marked transects were measured between 2008-2011 and again in 2017 for cover of ground-layer vegetation, tall shrub abundance, thaw depth, and soil properties. A complementary set of 11 reference transects surrounding the burn was also sampled.We observed much higher rates of thermokarst inside the burn than out. Even low severity burn areas experienced noticeable thaw subsidence. Mean annual ground temperature at 1 m depth has warmed 1.5°C relative to unburned tundra. In cases ice wedge troughs have deepened by more than 1 m in areas underlain by yedoma soils. Troughs were characterized by cracking soil and slumping tussocks, often into ponded water. Troughs and degraded ice features appear to be draining adjacent polygon centers leading to a general drying of the tundra. Tussockgrasses inside the burn continue to grow and flower vigorously, suggesting a continued flush of soil nutrients. Post-fire accumulation of organic material is generally fire greatly accelerates this succession. Records and observations suggest that lightning and ignitions are becoming more frequent north of the Brooks Range.Our monitoring of this burn over the last ten years reveals a story much more complicated than our team can tell, inviting involvement of other disciplines, particularly hydrology, soil and landform science, remote sensing, and wildlife and subsistence resource management.

  9. Potential changes in arctic seasonality and plant communities may impact tundra soil chemistry and carbon dynamics

    Crow, S.; Cooper, E.; Beilman, D.; Filley, T.; Reimer, P.

    2009-04-01

    On the Svalbard archipelago, as in other high Arctic regions, tundra soil organic matter (SOM) is primarily plant detritus that is largely stabilized by cold, moist conditions and low nitrogen availability. However, the resistance of SOM to decomposition is also influenced by the quality of organic matter inputs to soil. Different plant communities are likely to give different qualities to SOM, especially where lignin-rich woody species encroach into otherwise graminoid and bryophyte-dominated regions. Arctic woody plant species are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, snow cover, and growing season length. In a changing environment, litter chemistry may emerge as an important control on tundra SOM stabilization. In summer 2007, we collected plant material and soil from the highly-organic upper horizon (appx. 0-5 cm) and the mineral-dominated lower horizon (appx. 5-10cm) from four locations in the southwest facing valleys of Svalbard, Norway. The central goal of the ongoing experiment is to determine whether a greater abundance of woody plants could provide a negative feedback to warming impacts on the carbon (C) balance of Arctic soils. Towards this, we used a combination of plant biopolymer analyses (cupric oxide oxidation and quantification of lignin-derived phenols and cutin/suberin-derived aliphatics) and radiocarbon-based estimates of C longevity and mean residence time (MRT) to characterize potential links between plant type and soil C pools. We found that graminoid species regenerate above- and belowground tissue each year, whereas woody species (Cassiope tetragona and Dryas octopetala) regenerated only leaves yearly. In contrast, C within live branches and roots persisted for 15-18 yr on average. Leaves from woody species remained nearly intact in surface litter for up to 20 yr without being incorporated into the upper soil horizon. Leaves from both graminoid and woody species were concentrated in lignin-derived phenols relative to roots, but

  10. Photosynthesis, plant growth and nitrogen nutrition in Alaskan tussock tundra: Response to experimental warming

    Dynes, E.; Welker, J. M.; Moore, D. J.; Sullivan, P.; Ebbs, L.; Pattison, R.

    2009-12-01

    Temperature is predicted to rise significantly in northern latitudes over the next century. The Arctic tundra is a fragile ecosystem with low rates of photosynthesis and low nutrient mineralisation. Rising temperatures may increase photosynthetic capacity in the short term through direct stimulation of photosynthetic rates and also in the longer term due to enhanced nutrient availability. Different species and plant functional types may have different responses to warming which may have an impact on plant community structure. As part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) to investigate the effects of warming on arctic vegetation, a series of open top chambers (OTCs) have been established at the Toolik Field Station (68°38’N, 149°36’W, elevation 720 m). This study employs 12 plots; 6 control plots and 6 warming plots covered with OTCs which maintain a temperature on average +1.54 °C degrees higher than ambient temperatures. The response of photosynthesis to temperature was measured using an infra-red gas analyzer (IRGA) with a cooling adaptor to manipulate leaf temperature and determine AMAX in two contrasting species, Eriophorum vaginatum (sedge) and Betula nana (shrub). Temperature within the chamber head of the IRGA was manipulated from 10 through 25 °C. We also measured the leaf area index of plots using a Decagon Accupar Ceptometer to provide insights into potential differences in canopy cover. In both OTC and control plots the photosynthetic rate of B. nana was greater than that of E. vaginatum, with the AMAX of B. nana peaking at 20.08°C and E. vaginatum peaking slightly lower at 19.7°C in the control plots. There was no apparent difference in the temperature optimum of photosynthesis of either species when exposed to the warming treatment. Although there was no difference in temperature optimum there were differences in the peak values of AMAX between treatment and control plots. In the case of B. nana, AMAX was higher in the OTCs than in

  11. Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}

    Oechel, Walter C.

    1990-09-05

    OAK B188 Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Atmospheric CO{sub 2} is expected to double by the end of the next century. Global mean increases in surface air temperature of 1.5-4.5 C are anticipated with larger increases towards the poles predicted. Changes in CO{sub 2} levels and temperature could have major impacts on ecosystem functioning, including primary productivity, species composition, plant-animal interactions, and carbon storage. Until recently, there has been little direct information on the impact of changes in CO{sub 2} and temperature on native ecosystems. The study described here was undertaken to evaluate the effects of a 50 and 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2}, and a 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2} coupled with a 4 C summer air temperature rise on the structure and function of an arctic tussock tundra ecosystem. The arctic contains large stores of carbon as soil organic matter, much frozen in permafrost and currently not reactive or available for oxidation and release into the atmosphere. About 10-27% of the world's terrestrial carbon occurs in arctic and boreal regions, and carbon is accumulating in these regions at the rate of 0.19 GT y{sup -1}. Mean temperature increases of 11 C and summer temperature increases of 4 C have been suggested. Mean July temperatures on the arctic coastal plain and arctic foothills regions are 4-12 C, and mean annual temperatures are -7 to -13 C (Haugen, 1982). The projected temperature increases represent a substantial elevation above current temperatures which will have major impacts on physical processes such as permafrost development and development of the active layer, and on biological and ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, carbon storage, and species composition. Extreme nutrient and temperature limitation of this ecosystem raised questions of the responsiveness of arctic systems to elevated CO{sub 2}. Complex ecosystem interactions with the effects

  12. Decadal Variations of the Western Subarctic Gyre and Main Pycnocline Depth due to Wind Stress Change in the Northern North Pacific

    Nagano, A.; Wakita, M.

    2017-12-01

    From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, the western subarctic gyre of the North Pacific, a cyclonic circulation in the western subarctic region, shrank northward associated with a decadal increase of sea surface height (SSH). This gyre change displaced the main pycnocline (halocline) downward and is expected to contribute to the deepening of the overlying temperature minimum layer. This is considered to affect the biogeochemical conditions in the western subarctic region, where is known as substantially slow ocean acidification region. In this study, on the basis of wind stress field data in the subpolar region (40˚N—54˚N, 160˚E—135˚W) during 1979—2014 provided by U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis, we estimated the variation in SSH, solving the vorticity gradient equation on the beta plane. Decadal increase in SSH at Station K2 (47˚N, 160˚E), representative point of the western subarctic region, was well produced by the calculation, and the correlation coefficient with altimetric SSH exceeds 0.6. The calculated SSH variation consists of the variations due to the barotropic and baroclinic Rossby wave modes. The gyre shrinkage is found to be caused primarily by the barotropic response to the wind change in the whole subpolar region and secondary by the first baroclinic response. Meanwhile, the decadal deepening of the main pycnocline at K2 is attributed to the baroclinic responses of the higher (second, third, and fourth) vertical modes to the local wind change.

  13. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    Ivan Pokrovsky

    Full Text Available Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013 we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers.

  14. Biogeochemical controls on microbial CH4 and CO2 production in Arctic polygon tundra

    Zheng, J.

    2016-12-01

    Accurately simulating methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from high latitude soils is critically important for reducing uncertainties in soil carbon-climate feedback predictions. The signature polygonal ground of Arctic tundra generates high level of heterogeneity in soil thermal regime, hydrology and oxygen availability, which limits the application of current land surface models with simple moisture response functions. We synthesized CH4 and CO2 production measurements from soil microcosm experiments across a wet-to dry permafrost degradation gradient from low-centered (LCP) to flat-centered (FCP), and high-centered polygons (HCP) to evaluate the relative importance of biogeochemical processes and their response to warming. More degraded polygon (HCP) showed much less carbon loss as CO2 or CH4, while the total CO2 production from FCP is comparable to that from LCP. Maximum CH4 production from the active layer of LCP was nearly 10 times that of permafrost and FCP. Multivariate analyses identifies gravimetric water content and organic carbon content as key predictors for CH4 production, and iron reduction as a key regulator of pH. The synthesized data are used to validate the geochemical model PHREEQC with extended anaerobic organic substrate turnover, fermentation, iron reduction, and methanogenesis reactions. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate that better representations of anaerobic processes and their pH dependency could significantly improve estimates of CH4 and CO2 production. The synthesized data suggest local decreases in CH4 production along the polygon degradation gradient, which is consistent with previous surface flux measurements. Methane oxidation occurring through the soil column of degraded polygons contributes to their low CH4 emissions as well.

  15. Extreme nitrogen deposition can change methane oxidation rate in moist acidic tundra soil in Arctic regions

    Lee, J.; Kim, J.; Kang, H.

    2017-12-01

    Recently, extreme nitrogen(N) deposition events are observed in Arctic regions where over 90% of the annual N deposition occurred in just a few days. Since Arctic ecosystems are typically N-limited, input of extremely high amount of N could substantially affect ecosystem processes. CH4 is a potent greenhouse gas that has 25 times greater global warming potential than CO2 over a 100-year time frame. Ammonium is known as an inhibitor of methane oxidation and nitrate also shows inhibitory effect on it in temperate ecosystems. However, effects of N addition on Arctic ecosystems are still elusive. We conducted a lab-scale incubation experiment with moist acidic tundra (MAT) soil from Council, Alaska to investigate the effect of extreme N deposition events on methane oxidation. Zero point five % methane was added to the head space to determine the potential methane oxidation rate of MAT soil. Three treatments (NH4NO3-AN, (NH4)2SO4-AS, KNO3-PN) were used to compare effects of ammonium, nitrate and salts. All treatments were added in 3 levels: 10μg N gd.w-1(10), 50μg N gd.w-1(50) and 100μg N gd.w-1(100). AN10 and AN50 increased methane oxidation rate 1.7, 6% respectively. However, AN100 shows -8.5% of inhibitory effect. In AS added samples, all 3 concentrations (AN10, AN50, AN100) stimulated methane oxidation rate with 4.7, 8.9, 4%, respectively. On the contrary, PN50 (-9%) and PN100 (-59.5%) exhibited a significant inhibitory effect. We also analyzed the microbial gene abundance and community structures of methane oxidizing bacteria using a DNA-based fingerprinting method (T-RFLP) Our study results suggest that NH4+ can stimulate methane oxidation in Arctic MAT soil, while NO3- can inhibit methane oxidation significantly.

  16. Relating structural growth environment to white spruce sapling establishment at the Forest-Tundra Ecotone

    Maguire, A.; Boelman, N.; Griffin, K. L.; Jensen, J.; Hiers, E.; Johnson, D. M.; Vierling, L. A.; Eitel, J.

    2017-12-01

    The effect of climate change on treeline position at the latitudinal Forest-Tundra ecotone (FTE) is poorly understood. While the FTE is expansive (stretching 13,000 km acros the panarctic), understanding relationships between climate and tree function may depend on very fine scale processes. High resolution tools are therefore needed to appropriately characterize the leading (northernmost) edge of the FTE. We hypothesized that microstructural metrics obtainable from lidar remote sensing may explain variation in the physical growth environment that governs sapling establishment. To test our hypothesis, we used terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to collect highly spatially resolved 3-D structural information of white spruce (Picea glauca) saplings and their aboveground growth environment at the leading edge of a FTE in northern Alaska and Northwest Territories, Canada. Coordinates of sapling locations were extracted from the 3-D TLS data. Within each sampling plot, 20 sets of coordinates were randomly selected from regions where no saplings were present. Ground roughness, canopy roughness, average aspect, average slope, average curvature, wind shelter index, and wetness indexwere extracted from point clouds within a variable radius from all coordinates. Generalized linear models (GLM) were fit to determine which microstructural metrics were most strongly associated with sapling establishment. Preliminary analyses of three plots suggest that vegetation roughness, wetness index, ground roughness, and slope were the most important terrain metrics governing sapling presence (Figure 1). Comprehensive analyses will include eight plots and GLMs optimized for scale at which structural parameters affect sapling establishment. Spatial autocorrelation of sample locations will be accounted for in models. Because these analyses address how the physical growth environment affects sapling establishment, model outputs will provide information for improving understanding of the

  17. Plant response to climate change along the forest-tundra ecotone in northeastern Siberia.

    Berner, Logan T; Beck, Pieter S A; Bunn, Andrew G; Goetz, Scott J

    2013-11-01

    Russia's boreal (taiga) biome will likely contract sharply and shift northward in response to 21st century climatic change, yet few studies have examined plant response to climatic variability along the northern margin. We quantified climate dynamics, trends in plant growth, and growth-climate relationships across the tundra shrublands and Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr.) woodlands of the Kolyma river basin (657 000 km(2) ) in northeastern Siberia using satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), tree ring-width measurements, and climate data. Mean summer temperatures (Ts ) increased 1.0 °C from 1938 to 2009, though there was no trend (P > 0.05) in growing year precipitation or climate moisture index (CMIgy ). Mean summer NDVI (NDVIs ) increased significantly from 1982 to 2010 across 20% of the watershed, primarily in cold, shrub-dominated areas. NDVIs positively correlated (P  0.05), which significantly correlated with NDVIs (r = 0.44, P < 0.05, 1982-2007). Both satellite and tree-ring analyses indicated that plant growth was constrained by both low temperatures and limited moisture availability and, furthermore, that warming enhanced growth. Impacts of future climatic change on forests near treeline in Arctic Russia will likely be influenced by shifts in both temperature and moisture, which implies that projections of future forest distribution and productivity in this area should take into account the interactions of energy and moisture limitations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Identifying Factors Causing Variability in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Fluxes in a Polygonal Tundra Landscape

    Arora, B.; Wainwright, H. M.; Vaughn, L. S.; Curtis, J. B.; Torn, M. S.; Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) flux variations in Arctic tundra environments are important to understand because of the vast amount of soil carbon stored in these regions and the potential of these regions to convert from a global carbon sink to a source under warmer conditions. Multiple factors potentially contribute to GHG flux variations observed in these environments, including snowmelt timing, growing season length, active layer thickness, water table variations, and temperature fluctuations. The objectives of this study are to investigate temporal variability in CO2 and CH4 fluxes at Barrow, AK over three successive growing seasons (2012-14) and to determine the factors influencing this variability using a novel entropy-based classification scheme. We analyzed soil, vegetation, and climate parameters as well as GHG fluxes at multiple locations within low-, flat- and high-centered polygons at Barrow, AK as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) Arctic project. Entropy results indicate that different environmental factors govern variability in GHG fluxes under different spatiotemporal settings. In particular, flat-centered polygons are more likely to become significant sources of CO2 during warm and dry years as opposed to high-centered polygons that contribute considerably to CO2 emissions during cold and wet years. In contrast, the highest CH4 emissions were always associated with low-centered polygons. Temporal variability in CO2 fluxes was primarily associated with factors affecting soil temperature and/or vegetation dynamics during early and late season periods. Temporal variability in CH4 fluxes was primarily associated with changes in vegetation cover and its covariability with primary controls such as seasonal thaw—rather than direct response to changes in soil moisture. Overall, entropy results document which factors became important under different spatiotemporal settings, thus providing clues concerning the manner in which ecosystem

  19. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Annual report

    Oechel, W.C.; Grulke, N.E.

    1988-12-31

    Our past research shows that arctic tussock tundra responds to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with marked increases in net ecosystem carbon flux and photosynthetic rates. However, at ambient temperatures and nutrient availabilities, homeostatic adjustments result in net ecosystem flux rates dropping to those found a contemporary CO{sub 2} levels within three years. Evidence for ecosystem-level acclimation in the first season of elevated CO{sub 2} exposure was found in 1987. Photosynthetic rates of Eriophorum vaginatum, the dominant species, adjusts to elevated CO{sub 2} within three weeks. Past research also indicates other changes potentially important to ecosystem structure and function. Elevated CO{sub 2} treatment apparently delays senescence and increases the period of positive photosynthetic activity. Recent results from the 1987 field season verify the results obtained in the 1983--1986 field seasons: Elevated CO{sub 2} resulted in increased ecosystem-level flux rates. Regressions fitted to the seasonal flux rates indicate an apparent 10 d extension of positive CO{sub 2} uptake reflecting a delay of the onset of plant dormancy. This delay in senescence could increase the frost sensitivity of the system. Major end points proposed for this research include the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and the interaction of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with elevated soil temperature and increased nutrient availability on: (1) Net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (2) Net photosynthetic rates; (3) Patterns and resource controls on homeostatic adjustment in the above processes to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) Plant-nutrient status, litter quality, and forage quality; (5) Soil-nutrient status; (6) Plant-growth pattern and shoot demography.

  20. Regional Quantitative Cover Mapping of Tundra Plant Functional Types in Arctic Alaska

    Matthew J. Macander

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem maps are foundational tools that support multi-disciplinary study design and applications including wildlife habitat assessment, monitoring and Earth-system modeling. Here, we present continuous-field cover maps for tundra plant functional types (PFTs across ~125,000 km2 of Alaska’s North Slope at 30-m resolution. To develop maps, we collected a field-based training dataset using a point-intercept sampling method at 225 plots spanning bioclimatic and geomorphic gradients. We stratified vegetation by nine PFTs (e.g., low deciduous shrub, dwarf evergreen shrub, sedge, lichen and summarized measurements of the PFTs, open water, bare ground and litter using the cover metrics total cover (areal cover including the understory and top cover (uppermost canopy or ground cover. We then developed 73 spectral predictors derived from Landsat satellite observations (surface reflectance composites for ~15-day periods from May–August and five gridded environmental predictors (e.g., summer temperature, climatological snow-free date to model cover of PFTs using the random forest data-mining algorithm. Model performance tended to be best for canopy-forming PFTs, particularly deciduous shrubs. Our assessment of predictor importance indicated that models for low-statured PFTs were improved through the use of seasonal composites from early and late in the growing season, particularly when similar PFTs were aggregated together (e.g., total deciduous shrub, herbaceous. Continuous-field maps have many advantages over traditional thematic maps, and the methods described here are well-suited to support periodic map updates in tandem with future field and Landsat observations.

  1. Oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica. Reconstructing changes in surface water hydrography and silicic acid utilization in the late Pleistocene subarctic Pacific

    Maier, Edith

    2014-03-05

    Deglacial variations in upper ocean nutrient dynamics and stratification in high latitudes, as well as associated changes in thermohaline overturning circulation, are thought to have played a key role in changing atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations. This thesis examines the relationship between past changes in subarctic Pacific upper ocean stratification and nutrient (silicic acid) utilization, using oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica, for the first time at millennial-scale resolution and analyzed with a new and efficient instrumentation set-up. The isotopic data, presented in three manuscripts, show a consistent picture of millennial-scale variability in upper ocean stratification and silicic acid utilization during the last ∝50 ka BP, e.g. indicating that the subarctic Pacific was a source region for atmospheric CO{sub 2} during the last deglaciation (late Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Boelling/Alleroed). The presented results demonstrate the high potential of combined diatom oxygen and silicon stable isotope analysis especially for, but not restricted to, marine regions characterized by a low biogenic carbonate content like the subarctic Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

  2. Oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica. Reconstructing changes in surface water hydrography and silicic acid utilization in the late Pleistocene subarctic Pacific

    Maier, Edith

    2014-01-01

    Deglacial variations in upper ocean nutrient dynamics and stratification in high latitudes, as well as associated changes in thermohaline overturning circulation, are thought to have played a key role in changing atmospheric CO 2 concentrations. This thesis examines the relationship between past changes in subarctic Pacific upper ocean stratification and nutrient (silicic acid) utilization, using oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica, for the first time at millennial-scale resolution and analyzed with a new and efficient instrumentation set-up. The isotopic data, presented in three manuscripts, show a consistent picture of millennial-scale variability in upper ocean stratification and silicic acid utilization during the last ∝50 ka BP, e.g. indicating that the subarctic Pacific was a source region for atmospheric CO 2 during the last deglaciation (late Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Boelling/Alleroed). The presented results demonstrate the high potential of combined diatom oxygen and silicon stable isotope analysis especially for, but not restricted to, marine regions characterized by a low biogenic carbonate content like the subarctic Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

  3. Mathematical Modelling of Arctic Polygonal Tundra with Ecosys: 1. Microtopography Determines How Active Layer Depths Respond to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation

    Grant, R. F.; Mekonnen, Z. A.; Riley, W. J.; Wainwright, H. M.; Graham, D.; Torn, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Microtopographic variation that develops among features (troughs, rims, and centers) within polygonal landforms of coastal arctic tundra strongly affects movement of surface water and snow and thereby affects soil water contents (θ) and active layer depth (ALD). Spatial variation in ALD among these features may exceed interannual variation in ALD caused by changes in climate and so needs to be represented in projections of changes in arctic ALD. In this study, increases in near-surface θ with decreasing surface elevation among polygon features at the Barrow Experimental Observatory (BEO) were modeled from topographic effects on redistribution of surface water and snow and from lateral water exchange with a subsurface water table during a model run from 1981 to 2015. These increases in θ caused increases in thermal conductivity that in turn caused increases in soil heat fluxes and hence in ALD of up to 15 cm with lower versus higher surface elevation which were consistent with increases measured at BEO. The modeled effects of θ caused interannual variation in maximum ALD that compared well with measurements from 1985 to 2015 at the Barrow Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) site (R2 = 0.61, RMSE = 0.03 m). For higher polygon features, interannual variation in ALD was more closely associated with annual precipitation than mean annual temperature, indicating that soil wetting from increases in precipitation may hasten permafrost degradation beyond that caused by soil warming from increases in air temperature. This degradation may be more rapid if increases in precipitation cause sustained wetting in higher features.

  4. Interspecific Competition and Trade-offs in Resource Allocation are the Key to Successful Growth of Seedlings of White Spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) at Subarctic Treelines in Warming Alaska.

    Okano, K.; Bret-Harte, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Alpine treelines in Alaska have advanced for the past 50 years in response to the recent climate warming. However, further increases in temperatures may cause treeline species drought stress and increase susceptibility to insect outbreaks and fire. Complex factors such as soil conditions and plant species composition also impact the growth of seedlings, which are essential to sustain boreal forests. Our goals were to assess 1) the current optimal elevation for the treeline species Picea glauca (white spruce) seedlings and how it is altered by climate change, and 2) their growth/survival strategies at each environmental site. We studied the growth response of spruce seedlings along an altitudinal gradient at 6 sites, consisting of tundra, forest, or transitional ecotone in Denali National Park and one forest site in Fairbanks, AK. In May 2012, four-month old seedlings were planted with or without naturally occurring plants to compare the presence or absence of the interspecific interaction. Summer temperatures were increased by one small greenhouse per site. Over 2 growing seasons, growth was measured non-destructively, and then the seedlings were harvested. Relative growth rate (RGR) in height was increased significantly as the altitude was increased. Elevated temperature increased height only in seedlings at a high-altitude forest. Seedlings with neighboring plants had a higher RGR in height than seedlings that had neighbors removed, while significantly wider diameters were measured from the seedlings without neighbors. A weak trend of declining diameter width with increasing altitudes was seen. Seedlings that grew taller did not grow their stems wider, indicating trade-offs in resource allocation. None of the altitudinal sites had a clear advantage for the growth of the seedlings. Habitat microclimate and the interaction with other species could be more important than the altitude or temperatures and hence, key to the survival and growth of spruce seedlings in

  5. Shrub growth and expansion in the Arctic tundra: an assessment of controlling factors using an evidence-based approach

    Martin, Andrew C.; Jeffers, Elizabeth S.; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Myers-Smith, Isla; Macias-Fauria, Marc

    2017-08-01

    Woody shrubs have increased in biomass and expanded into new areas throughout the Pan-Arctic tundra biome in recent decades, which has been linked to a biome-wide observed increase in productivity. Experimental, observational, and socio-ecological research suggests that air temperature—and to a lesser degree precipitation—trends have been the predominant drivers of this change. However, a progressive decoupling of these drivers from Arctic vegetation productivity has been reported, and since 2010, vegetation productivity has also been declining. We created a protocol to (a) identify the suite of controls that may be operating on shrub growth and expansion, and (b) characterise the evidence base for controls on Arctic shrub growth and expansion. We found evidence for a suite of 23 proximal controls that operate directly on shrub growth and expansion; the evidence base focused predominantly on just four controls (air temperature, soil moisture, herbivory, and snow dynamics). 65% of evidence was generated in the warmest tundra climes, while 24% was from only one of 28 floristic sectors. Temporal limitations beyond 10 years existed for most controls, while the use of space-for-time approaches was high, with 14% of the evidence derived via experimental approaches. The findings suggest the current evidence base is not sufficiently robust or comprehensive at present to answer key questions of Pan-Arctic shrub change. We suggest future directions that could strengthen the evidence, and lead to an understanding of the key mechanisms driving changes in Arctic shrub environments.

  6. The impact of enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation on litter quality and decomposition processes in Vaccinium leaves from the Subarctic

    Gehrke, C.; Johanson, U. [Lund Univ. (Sweden); Callaghan, T. V.; Chadwick, D.; Robinson, C. H.

    1995-03-15

    The aim of this study was to investigate how UV-B radiation will affect 1) the quality of plant litter grown under different UV-B levels in the Subarctic and 2) decomposition under different UV-B levels. The deciduous dwarf shrubs Vaccinium uliginosum and V. myrtillus grew under ambient and enhanced UV-B (corresponding to 15% ozone depletion) in a natural heath ecosystem in the Subarctic. After two growing seasons senesced leaves were collected and decomposed in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment under both laboratory conditions for 62 d (V. uliginosum: no UV-B and 10 kJ m{sup -2} d{sup -1} UV- B{sub BE}) and under field conditions for twelve months (V. myrtillus: ambient and enhanced UV-B corresponding 15% ozone depletion). Additionally, colonization and growth of decomposing fungi were studied on leaves decomposed without and with UV-B in the laboratory. The enhanced UV-B during growth changed the litter quality (decrease in α-cellulose, increase in tannins). Subsequently the microbial respiration was decreased. This and the decreased cellulose/lignin ratio may have led to the lower relative mass loss due to treatments as detected both after 62 d decomposition in the laboratory and after twelve months decomposition in the field. The UV-B during decomposition decreased the proportion of lignin in the plant residues, which is possibly due to photodegradation by UV-B. Total microbial respiration decreased, indicating the decomposers' sensitivity to UV-B. In general, the litter decomposing under UV-B was less colonized by fungal decomposers. Mucor hiemalis and Truncatella truncata were significantly more abundant in the control, indicating sensitivity to UV-B radiation, while Penicillium brevicompactum was equally abundant in the UV-B and control. There is strong indication of a change in decomposer fungal community structure due to UV-B. Just one of the three fungal species common on the control litter was dominant on leaves decomposed under UV-B. (author)

  7. The impact of enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation on litter quality and decomposition processes in Vaccinium leaves from the Subarctic

    Gehrke, C [Lund Univ., Dept. of Plant Ecology, Lund (Sweden); Johanson, U [Lund Univ., Dept. of Plant Physiology, Lund (Sweden); Callaghan, T V; Chadwick, D; Robinson, C H [Merlewood Research Station, Inst. of Terrestrial Ecology, Cumbira (United Kingdom)

    1995-05-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate how UV-B radiation will affect (1) the quality of plant litter grown under differente UV-B levels in the Subarctic and (2) decomposition under different UV-B levels. The deciduous dwarf shrubs Vaccinium uliginosum and V. myrtillus grew under ambient and enchanced UV-B (corresponding to 15% ozone depletion) in a natural health ecosystem in the Subarctic. After two growing seasons senesced leaves were collected and decomposed in a 2 x 2 factorial experiment under both laboratory conditions for 62 d (V. uliginosum: no UV-B and 10 kJ m{sup -2} d{sup -1} UV-B{sub BE}) and under field conditions for twelve months (V. myrtillus: ambient and enhanced UV-B corresponding 15% ozone depletion). Additionally, colonization and growth of decomposing fungi were studied on leaves decomposed without and with UV-B in the laboratory. The enhanced UV-B during growth changed the litter quality (decrease in {alpha}-cellulose, increase in tannins). Subsequently the microbial respiration was decreased. This and the decreased cellulose/lignin ratio may have led to the lower relative mass loss due to treatments as detected both after 62 d decomposition in the laboratory and after twelve months decompositon in the field. The UV-B during decomposition decreased the proportion of lignin in the plant residues, which is possibly due to photodegradation by UV-B. Total microbial respiration decreased, indicating the decomposers` sensitivity to UV-B. In general, the litter decomposing under UV-B was less colonized by fungal decomposers. Mucor hiemalis and Truncatella truncata were significantly more abundant in the control, indicating sensitivity to UV-B radiation, while Penicillium brevicompactum was equally abundant in the UV-B and control. There is strong indication of a change in decomposer fungal community structure due to UV-B. Just one of the three fungal species common on the control litter was dominant on leaves decomposed under UV-B. (au) (44 refs.)

  8. The impact of enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation on litter quality and decomposition processes in Vaccinium leaves from the Subarctic

    Gehrke, C.; Johanson, U.; Callaghan, T.V.; Chadwick, D.; Robinson, C.H.

    1995-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate how UV-B radiation will affect 1) the quality of plant litter grown under different UV-B levels in the Subarctic and 2) decomposition under different UV-B levels. The deciduous dwarf shrubs Vaccinium uliginosum and V. myrtillus grew under ambient and enhanced UV-B (corresponding to 15% ozone depletion) in a natural heath ecosystem in the Subarctic. After two growing seasons senesced leaves were collected and decomposed in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment under both laboratory conditions for 62 d (V. uliginosum: no UV-B and 10 kJ m -2 d -1 UV- B BE ) and under field conditions for twelve months (V. myrtillus: ambient and enhanced UV-B corresponding 15% ozone depletion). Additionally, colonization and growth of decomposing fungi were studied on leaves decomposed without and with UV-B in the laboratory. The enhanced UV-B during growth changed the litter quality (decrease in α-cellulose, increase in tannins). Subsequently the microbial respiration was decreased. This and the decreased cellulose/lignin ratio may have led to the lower relative mass loss due to treatments as detected both after 62 d decomposition in the laboratory and after twelve months decomposition in the field. The UV-B during decomposition decreased the proportion of lignin in the plant residues, which is possibly due to photodegradation by UV-B. Total microbial respiration decreased, indicating the decomposers' sensitivity to UV-B. In general, the litter decomposing under UV-B was less colonized by fungal decomposers. Mucor hiemalis and Truncatella truncata were significantly more abundant in the control, indicating sensitivity to UV-B radiation, while Penicillium brevicompactum was equally abundant in the UV-B and control. There is strong indication of a change in decomposer fungal community structure due to UV-B. Just one of the three fungal species common on the control litter was dominant on leaves decomposed under UV-B. (author)

  9. Ecological and spatial factors drive intra- and interspecific variation in exposure of subarctic predatory bird nestlings to persistent organic pollutants.

    Eulaers, Igor; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Bustnes, Jan O; Covaci, Adrian; Johnsen, Trond V; Halley, Duncan J; Moum, Truls; Ims, Rolf A; Hanssen, Sveinn A; Erikstad, Kjell E; Herzke, Dorte; Sonne, Christian; Ballesteros, Manuel; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2013-07-01

    Top predators in northern ecosystems may suffer from exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as this exposure may synergistically interact with already elevated natural stress in these ecosystems. In the present study, we aimed at identifying biological (sex, body condition), ecological (dietary carbon source, trophic level) and spatial factors (local habitat, regional nest location) that may influence intra- and interspecific variation in exposure of subarctic predatory bird nestlings to polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (CB 153), polybrominated diphenyl ether 47 (BDE 47), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). During three breeding seasons (2008-2010), we sampled body feathers from fully-grown nestlings of three ecologically distinct predatory bird species in subarctic Norway: Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) and Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The present study analysed, for the first time, body feathers for both POPs and carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) stable isotopes, thus integrating the dietary carbon source, trophic level and POP exposure for the larger part of the nestling stage. Intraspecific variation in exposure was driven by a combination of ecological and spatial factors, often different for individual compounds. In addition, combinations for individual compounds differed among species. Trophic level and local habitat were the predominant predictors for CB 153, p,p'-DDE and BDE 47, indicating their biomagnification and decreasing levels according to coast>fjord>inland. Variation in exposure may also have been driven by inter-annual variation arisen from primary sources (e.g. p,p'-DDE) and/or possible revolatilisation from secondary sources (e.g. HCB). Interspecific differences in POP exposure were best explained by a combination of trophic level (biomagnification), dietary carbon source (food chain discrimination) and regional nest location (historical POP

  10. Fire-severity effects on plant-fungal interactions after a novel tundra wildfire disturbance: implications for arctic shrub and tree migration

    Rebecca E. Hewitt; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; F. Stuart Chapin III; D. Lee Taylor

    2016-01-01

    Background: Vegetation change in high latitude tundra ecosystems is expected to accelerate due to increased wildfire activity. High-severity fires increase the availability of mineral soil seedbeds, which facilitates recruitment, yet fire also alters soil microbial composition, which could significantly impact seedling establishment.

  11. Is pollen morphology of Salix polaris affected by enhanced UV-B irradiation? Results from a field experiment in high Arctic tundra

    Yeloff, Dan; Blokker, Peter; Boelen, Peter; Rozema, Jelte

    2008-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that the thickness of the pollen wall will increase in response to enhanced UV-B irradiation, by examining, the effect of enhanced UV-B irradiance on the pollen morphology of Sali-v polaris Wahlem. grown in a Field experiment on the Arctic tundra of Svalbard.

  12. Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change: Producing Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L. and Bush Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L. for Improved Food Security and Resilience in a Canadian Subarctic First Nations Community

    Christine D. Barbeau

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Aboriginal people in Canada experience disproportionately high rates of diet-related illnesses, such as obesity and diabetes. Food insecurity has been identified as a contributing factor to these illnesses along with a loss of traditional lifestyle. Current food systems within northern subarctic and arctic regions of Canada rely heavily on imported foods that are expensive (when available, and are environmentally unsustainable. A warming subarctic and arctic climate present challenges, but also offers the opportunity for local agricultural production that can increase food security and promote a more sustainable food system. In this study the feasibility of sustainably growing potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L. utilizing agroforestry practices to enhance food security in remote subarctic communities is explored through a case study in Fort Albany First Nation in northern Ontario, Canada. Potato crops were grown over a two-year period and rotated into plots that had been planted with green bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.. Results showed that potatoes and bush beans could be grown successfully in the subarctic without the use of greenhouses with yields comparable to more conventional high-input agricultural methods. In subarctic Canada, sustainable local food production can help to promote social capital, healthier lifestyles, and food security.

  13. Landscape Controls of CH4 Fluxes in a Catchment of the Forest Tundra in Northern Siberia

    Flessa, H.; Rodionov, A.; Guggenberger, G.; Fuchs, H.; Magdon, P.; Shibistova, O.; Zrazhevskaya, G.; Kasansky, O.; Blodau, C.

    2007-12-01

    Soils have the capacity to both produce and consume atmospheric methane. The direction and the size of net- CH4 exchange between soils and atmosphere is mainly controlled by the soil aeration, temperature and the amount of bioavailable organic matter. All these factors are strongly influenced by distribution and seasonal dynamics of permafrost. Thus, distribution of permafrost and the thickness of the active layer can exert strong influence on CH4 dynamics in artic and northern boreal ecosystems. We analyzed the spatial and temporal variability of net-CH4 exchange within a catchment located in the Siberian forest tundra at the eastern shore of the lower Yenissej River to constrain the current function of this region as a sink or source of atmospheric CH4 and to gain insight into the potential for climatic change to alter the rate and form of carbon cycling and CH4 fluxes in this region. Net-fluxes of CH4 were measured from July to November 2003 and from August 2006 to July 2007 on representative soils of the catchment (mineral soils with different thawing depth, soils of bog plateaux) and on a thermokarst pond. In addition, dissolved CH4 in the stream draining the catchment was determined. Field observations, classification of landscape structures from satellite images and flux measurements were combined to estimate total catchment CH4 exchange. Nearly all soils of the catchment were net-sinks of atmospheric CH4 with annual CH4-C uptake rates ranging between 1.2 and 0.2 kg ha-1 yr-1. The active layer depth was the main factor determining the size of CH4 uptake. Total net-exchange of CH4 from the catchment was dominated by ponds that covered only about 2% of the catchment area. Due to high CH4 emission from these aquatic systems, the catchment was a net source of atmospheric CH4 with a mean annual emission of approximately 170 kg CH4-C ha-1. CH4 concentration in streams draining the catchment can help to identify areas with high CH4 production. The results suggest

  14. Detection and Segmentation of Small Trees in the Forest-Tundra Ecotone Using Airborne Laser Scanning

    Marius Hauglin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Due to expected climate change and increased focus on forests as a potential carbon sink, it is of interest to map and monitor even marginal forests where trees exist close to their tolerance limits, such as small pioneer trees in the forest-tundra ecotone. Such small trees might indicate tree line migrations and expansion of the forests into treeless areas. Airborne laser scanning (ALS has been suggested and tested as a tool for this purpose and in the present study a novel procedure for identification and segmentation of small trees is proposed. The study was carried out in the Rollag municipality in southeastern Norway, where ALS data and field measurements of individual trees were acquired. The point density of the ALS data was eight points per m2, and the field tree heights ranged from 0.04 to 6.3 m, with a mean of 1.4 m. The proposed method is based on an allometric model relating field-measured tree height to crown diameter, and another model relating field-measured tree height to ALS-derived height. These models are calibrated with local field data. Using these simple models, every positive above-ground height derived from the ALS data can be related to a crown diameter, and by assuming a circular crown shape, this crown diameter can be extended to a crown segment. Applying this model to all ALS echoes with a positive above-ground height value yields an initial map of possible circular crown segments. The final crown